Crisis Manager Working on Restarting Bus Builder Van Hool in Lier, No Bankruptcy Filing Expected Today
Economy

Van Hool Crisis Manager Zwaaneveld Announces Plan to Avoid Bankruptcy Amid High Debt Burden and Family Dispute

Van Hool crisis manager Marc Zwaaneveld has announced that he will continue to work with the company’s transformation plan in order to avoid bankruptcy. The court date scheduled for today, which could have resulted in the declaration of bankruptcy, has been postponed as Zwaaneveld focuses on finding a solution by March 31. Despite his best efforts, bankruptcy seems inevitable due to the high debt burden of Van Hool and the lack of fresh capital from investors or government entities.

The Van Hool family is currently engaged in a dispute over shares and has until 12 o’clock today to come to an agreement. If no resolution is reached, Zwaaneveld and the company are prepared to move forward with plan B, which involves selling Van Hool without the existing debts. The Flemish government supports this approach as the most realistic solution, which may involve a guided bankruptcy process.

Insolvency specialist Dominique De Marez believes that a transfer under judicial authority is the best option for Van Hool, as it allows for the sale of viable parts without the associated debts. Potential buyers such as Guido Dumarey and VDL Bus & Coach are in discussions with Zwaaneveld about acquiring Van Hool and potentially saving jobs. However, Van Hool’s financial situation remains dire, with debts amounting to approximately 300 million euros.

As the situation unfolds, it becomes clear that drastic measures will be needed to save the company and its employees. Zwaaneveld’s original transformation plan required 95 million euros of fresh capital, but the total amount needed may be higher. The government’s role in supporting a restart after a guided bankruptcy is crucial, as the future of Van Hool and its employees hangs in the balance.

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