VDL – Schmitz Cargobull’s bid has been chosen by trustees in Van Hool’s case as the best fit to ensure continuity in the company. Administrators taking care of the post-bankruptcy takeover of the OEM “believe a much faster start-up can be achieved. They feared that with other acquirers too much time would be lost for the restart. This would leave customers and employees unavailable for the restart to succeed”, as reported De Standaard in the late evening of 10th April 2024.

Van Hool announced the plan to stop production of city buses (and relocating business in Macedonia) on 11th March. Later on, the company asked for protection from creditors and, on 8th April, was declared bankrupt.

Van Hool assets to go to VDL – Schmitz

The green light from trustees to VDL – Schmitz Cargobull proposal follows the ‘plot twist’ happened on Monday 9th, when Dumarey Group had announced that it had made an alternative bid for the bus division together with US distributor of Van Hool buses ABC Companies. But also CIM Capital and Jozef Delcroix also put bids on the table, for industrial vehicles and real estate respectively.

“Only 650 to 950 jobs will be saved with VDL Groep and Cargobull. Trade union ABVV had therefore urged this week to look for parties that could save more jobs”, De Standaard adds.

VRT reported that “Flemish Works Minister Jo Brouns (CD&V) believes the trustees took their decision in complete independence and after careful consideration of all interests, and he hopes this will end the uncertainty of the past weeks”.

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