Bankruptcy looms for bus manufacturer Van Hool as banks refuse to intervene

Banks seem unwilling to intervene in the ailing bus manufacturer Van Hool, De Tijd reports on Friday evening. Van Hool announced it would hold a press conference on the company's situation on Monday at 16.00.

Van Hool is facing financial difficulties and announced earlier this month that it would cut more than 1,100 jobs in the coming years.

Marc Zwaaneveld, Van Hool's crisis manager, has presented the Flemish government with a plan to save the company from bankruptcy. Even if the family feud between the various branches of the company is resolved by Monday, the rescue plan is dead in the water, writes De Tijd.

Flanders will not step in

With 200 million euros, the banks are Van Hool's biggest creditors. Only if they were prepared to intervene would the Flemish government consider providing financial support.

With the banks unwilling to help, it seems that Flanders will not step in either. However, the regional government is exposed to 30 million euros through bank guarantees in the event of bankruptcy.

A family feud is also standing in the way of a rescue. Zwaaneveld is giving the various branches of the family until Monday to reach an amicable settlement over inheritance disputes that have led to two-thirds of the shares being blocked for sale.

Flash bankruptcy

The lack of an agreement threatens to make a sale of Van Hool impossible and scare off potential buyers. According to De Tijd, no agreement has yet been reached.

Zwaaneveld can now opt for a flash bankruptcy, in which an administrator quickly restarts operations by partially or completely taking over industrial players' assets or operations. According to De Tijd, three industrial companies, including West Flemish entrepreneur Guido Dumarey, are interested.

Van Hool did not comment on the news on Friday evening but announced that it would hold a press conference on 25 March at 16.00 in Koningshooikt on the state of affairs.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO TOM GOYVAERTS


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