van Hool restart

Curators at Van Hool make a quick restart possible with VDL Groep and GRW/Schmitz Cargobull

10 April 2024

The board of 4 curators appointed at Van Hool which was declared bankrupt by the Mechelen Business Court last Monday, April 8, 2024, has decided to make a quick restart of the company possible. The trustees discussed and finally accepted the binding offer, which was submitted by VDL Groep (Netherlands) and GRW (South Africa), a partner company of Schmitz Cargobull (Germany), with all stakeholders involved. The other bids that were submitted to the board of curators in recent days were also discussed with the same stakeholders and ultimately not retained, as Van Hool states in a press release late Wednesday evening 10 April.


Earlier that day media reported that the VDL Groep was ‘not amused’ with the idea to get involved in a bidding war with the other interested parties and had set a deadline to force a decision. In the mentioned press release Van Hool emphasizes “that from the start of their mandate, the board of trustees' intention was to enable a restart in the short term in order to, on the one hand, safeguard the intrinsic value of the entire company and, on the other hand, to maintain employment as much as possible”. Jeroen Pinoy, one of the curators, says: “The interest among the various parties was very genuine and showed great appreciation for the bankrupt Van Hool company and its employees. When comparing the totality of the various components of the recent bids and expressions of interest, these did not appear to be significantly better than the binding offer that VDL Groep and GRW had already made last week. There was a risk that if the company were not to restart immediately, the good employee potential at Van Hool would be lost. Moreover, the

distribution of ordered vehicles (coaches, buses and industrial vehicles) would take even longer, which would inevitably result in a loss of income. This would 'dry up' production and the distribution channel, which would cause irreparable damage. We are convinced, in consultation with the stakeholders involved, that the takeover of the bankrupt Van Hool by VDL Groep and GRW is the best solution for employment and makes a sustainable restart possible.” Also Van Hool states in its press release: “It was an intensive process that, due to the lack of a solution to the family inheritance law situation, was under very high pressure due to the liquidity position of the company. The agreements in principle concluded with the internationally renowned family businesses VDL Groep and GRW are, given the circumstances, the best achievable result for all parties involved. This does not alter the fact that many employees will unfortunately have to look for a job outside Van Hool.” (Photo: Jan Voet/Transporama)