VDL Groep acquires bus manufacturer Van Hool, saving 250 jobs in Belgium

The Dutch VDL Groep has taken over the bus division of bankrupt manufacturer Van Hool, the company announced in a press release on Tuesday. The takeover will save around 250 jobs for former Van Hool employees, who will be taken on at the company's site in Lier.

VDL is taking over both Van Hool in Belgium and its production facility in North Macedonia. It was not disclosed how much the Dutch company paid. However, it has reached an agreement with the unions on employment conditions after weeks of negotiations.

According to VDL, the takeover will save 250 jobs in Belgium and 1,350 in North Macedonia. This is less than the "300 to 600" jobs VDL promised to save in Belgium earlier this year.

No assembly in Lier

The Koningshooikt site in Lier, Antwerp province, will only employ people for parts production, after-sales, purchasing, development and finance. This means that bus assembly will no longer take place in Lier but in other VDL locations and in North Macedonia.

All intellectual property, tools and machinery formerly owned by Van Hool will belong to VDL from Tuesday. To continue supplying buses in the US and Canada, the Dutch have made arrangements with local distributor ABC Companies.

"This further strengthens our position as a bus manufacturer," said VDL managing director Willem van der Leegte. "The strategic cooperation with our US partner allows us to further develop our international activities."


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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