Takeover agreement in principle reached for bus manufacturer Van Hool

The administrators at bankrupt bus manufacturer Van Hool have reached a takeover agreement in principle with the VDL coach and bus group and GRW, a partner company of trailer manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull, a company spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday evening.

The Mechelen company court declared Van Hool bankrupt on Monday, and since then the receivers have been discussing a final offer with the Dutch VDL and the South African GRW. Other bids were submitted but rejected.

The administrators wish to allow the company to be relaunched in the short term in order to “preserve the intrinsic value of the company and maintain employment as far as possible”.

According to administrator Jeroen Pinoy, the companies’ interest in Van Hool, based in Lier, Antwerp province, was “sincere” and showed an appreciation for the firm and its employees. “It's the best solution for jobs and a sustainable recovery,” he said.

Flemish minister for Public Works Jo Brouns, of Christian democrats CD&V, said the trustees made their decision “in complete independence and after careful consideration of all the interests at stake”. He hopes the decision will end the uncertainty of recent weeks, and that jobs for at least 650 people will be maintained in the short term.


#FlandersNewsService | Workers at the Van Hool bus assembly plant in Lier, 8 April 2024 © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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