Bankruptcy of bus manufacturer Van Hool postponed by one week

Ailing bus manufacturer Van Hool will take an extra week to work on a "quick relaunch" of the company, the management announced on Tuesday after a special works council meeting.

The company is still heading for bankruptcy, but hopes to restart and save some of its operations and jobs. The extra week is needed to organise such a relaunch "within the ongoing proceedings at the Mechelen Enterprise Court".

Last week it emerged that Dutch rival VDL and Germany's Schmitz Cargobull were working together on a takeover bid. Belgian entrepreneur Guido Dumarey and a fourth, smaller candidate are also said to be interested.

Employees and unions expressed disappointment at the lack of clarity about their future

There is still little information about talks with potential buyers and their concrete plans for the company or parts of it. However, Van Hool said that the ongoing talks were "constructive and in a good atmosphere". 

The management said that in talks with potential buyers, it was "paying attention to all stakeholders, thinking especially of the employees". Employees and unions expressed disappointment at the lack of clarity about their future.

"On the other hand, it is of course positive that talks are still ongoing," said Kim Samison of the ACV union. "Although it will all depend on what a relaunch would mean in terms of maintaining departments and jobs, and what the pay and working conditions would be." 


#FlandersNewsService | The Van Hool bus factory in Koningshooikt, Lier, on 2 April 2024 © BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE

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