From Transformation Plan to Bankruptcy: The Van Hool Dilemma

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

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

The Van Hool family, who are in a dispute over shares, have until 12 o’clock today to find a solution. If no agreement is reached, Zwaaneveld and the company are prepared to move forward with a plan B to sell Van Hool without the existing debts. The Flemish government supports this 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 to acquire Van Hool and potentially save jobs. However, the financial situation of Van Hool remains dire, with debts amounting to approximately 300 million.

As the situation unfolds, it is 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.

However, despite these efforts by Zwaaneveld and other stakeholders to avoid bankruptcy for Van Hool, it seems that all roads lead towards insolvency. As March 31 approaches fast enough and negotiations fall through between shareholders or potential buyers or even if they don’t agree on any terms then we can expect insolvency proceedings for van hool.

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