Only VDL-Schmitz still in the running for Van Hool, Dumarey no longer involved“. It’s the headline of the article published today, 5th April, by Flemish newspaper De Tijd, with significants updates about the future of Van Hool.

The other takeover candidate, Dumarey, has thrown in the gauntlet as “it is reportedly no longer involved in the talks since Wednesday.”

Van Hool, VDL in pole position

The newspaper reports that “The assets of ailing bus maker Van Hool, which will file for bankruptcy next week, are likely to be taken over by Dutch-German tandem VDL-Schmitz Cargobull. The industrial duo is the only remaining candidate, after previously West Flemish entrepreneur Guido Dumarey and Dutch company Vlastuin were also in the running. De Tijd heard this from multiple sources”.

In particular, VDL Group would be particularly interested in Van Hool’s Class 3 bus business, with potential takeover of the US market, where Van Hool has a good foothold through its dealer ABC Companies.

The future of Van Hool, next week…

The future of Van Hool is poised between bankruptcy or, hopefully, a new course (also after bankruptcy), with a new ownership at the helm thanks to a Recovery Plan put together by crisis manager Marc Zwaaneveld.

The concern among workers unions is centered around the potential consequences of decisions made by the VDL-Schmitz partnership on job preservation in Flanders. It’s feared that this alliance may prioritize saving fewer jobs in the region. Specifically, there’s apprehension that VDL’s focus lies primarily on acquiring the Van Hool plant located in northern Macedonia, still according to De Tijd. If VDL diverts its attention towards this plant, it raises the risk that production of buses in Koningshooikt will cease, resulting in potential job losses.

The timing of these developments adds to the unease. With VDL preparing to inaugurate a new factory in Roeselare imminently, the possibility of diminished operations in Koningshooikt becomes even more concerning. Additionally, Schmitz’s intentions regarding the industrial vehicle sector in Koningshooikt remain ambiguous, leaving uncertainty about the fate of jobs in that area as well.

De Standaard confirms: “Early next week, possibly Monday, the bankruptcy petition will be filed and the name of the acquirer announced. Multiple sources say it will probably be the VDL Groep consortium with German trailer builder Schmitz Cargobull. For the other candidate, Dumarey Group, the chances are dwindling. Small third candidate Vlastuin has already dropped out”.


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