Bus Industry News, Company News, International

VDL and GRW acquire Van Hool following bankruptcy declaration

In major global news, bus giant Van Hool has been declared bankrupt, with two other popular brands coming to the rescue of the manufacturer

International bus and coach manufacturing giant Van Hool is hoping for a “rapid restart” after reaching a binding offer with other brands to rescue it from bankruptcy.

On April 8, Van Hool was declared bankrupt, with the major global manufacturer facing permanent closure.

Now, a board of four curators, including coach and bus group VDL Groep and GRW, a partner company of trailer brand Schmitz Cargobull, have offered to acquire the brand and restart it.

The curators discussed and accepted a binding officer from the Dutch VDL Groep and South Africa-based GRW to take over the company.

Van Hool representatives say other binds were presented to the board of curators in recent days, but weren’t accepted.

The aim of the board of curators has consistently been to facilitate a swift restart for Van Hool operations to preserve as much employment as possible and limit the damage.

“The interest from the various parties was very genuine and demonstrated a commendable appreciation for the bankrupt company Van Hool and its employees,” curator Jeroen Pinoy says.

“Upon comparing the totality of the various components of the recent bids and expressions of interest, it became evident that they were not significantly superior to the binding offer presented by VDL Groep and GRW.

“There was a risk that, without an immediate restart of the company, the valuable employee pool at Van Hool would be lost. Furthermore, the delivery of ordered vehicles (including coaches, buses, and industrial vehicles) would be further delayed, resulting in lost revenues.

“This would effectively dry up both production and distribution channels, causing irreparable damage. In consultation with the relevant stakeholders, we are convinced that the acquisition of the bankrupt Van Hool by VDL Groep and GRW is the best solution for employment and enables a sustainable restart.”

Van Hool says the process was intensive due to the situation of the company and the presence of an unresolved familial inheritance situation.

Despite this deal, Van Hool acknowledges this doesn’t mean that “many employees” will have to “seek employment outside of Van Hool”.

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