Van Hool working on ‘parallel’ plan for sustainable future

Van Hool Co-CEO Marc Zwaaneveld says the Belgian bus-maker remains steadfast in its pursuit of a sustainable future after its proposed recovery plan was blocked by an inheritance dispute.

Van Hool
Van Hool Co-Ceo Marc Zwaaneveld

“We absolutely refuse to give up and continue to make maximum efforts to find a solution by the end of March,” Zwaaneveld said in a news release. “We believe that a solution is still achievable, but we need the maximum support from all involved parties. Let’s work together and remain calm to make a sustainable future possible.”

The manufacturer is holding firm to the target date of March 31 to find an outcome that preserves as many activities and jobs at Van Hool as possible, the company said.

The Van Hool Recovery Plan, aimed at attracting new capital and securing a future for the company, was presented during a Special Works Council on March 11 to employee representatives, and all employees were informed. Discussions also were held with other stakeholders, including banks, government agencies, shareholders, the board of directors, unions, and potential investors, and the company said the plan was well received. 

However, an inheritance dispute among shareholders and the Van Hool family complicated the issue, a swift resolution proved unattainable, and the company said implementation of the recovery plan is no longer viable. 

Van Hool
The Van Hool plant in Belgium.

With the impending deadline of March 31 for approval of the Van Hool Recovery Plan, the company had already initiated a parallel track to explore alternative scenarios. This includes discussions with potential acquirers to explore a possible restart, with attention to all stakeholders, particularly the employees.

Van Hool said it appreciates the support of stakeholders, including banks, the Flemish government, and government minister Jo Brouns. It also thanked its staff, the Works Council and the unions.

Van Hool is a Belgian manufacturer of buses, coaches and industrial vehicles headquartered in Koningshooikt, Belgium. The company was founded in 1947. Most production is bound for Europe and North America. Van Hool employs over 4,100 staff worldwide, with the majority located in production facilities in Koningshooikt and Skopje, North Macedonia.


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