Van Hool crisis manager working to prevent bankruptcy and restart bus builder in Lier

Van Hool, a struggling Belgian bus manufacturer, is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Despite efforts by crisis manager Marc Zwaaneveld to implement a transformation plan, the company’s high debt burden has proven too overwhelming. Finding investors willing to provide the necessary funds has been difficult, and a family dispute within the Van Hool family over shares further complicates matters.

With a deadline of March 31st fast approaching, Zwaaneveld has announced that he will not be going to court today to submit the company’s books. Instead, he will continue to work in line with the transformation plan. However, this decision does little to ease the financial strain on Van Hool, which remains dire with debts totaling around 300 million euros.

As insolvency specialist Dominique De Marez explains, a transfer under judicial authority may be the most likely outcome for Van Hool. This process would involve selling only the viable parts of the company without its associated debts and granting protection from creditors for a period of time. Zwaaneveld is already actively engaging with potential buyers, including West Flemish entrepreneur Guido Dumarey and Dutch bus builder VDL Bus & Coach.

Despite his best efforts, Zwaaneveld may ultimately have to consider a guided bankruptcy as an option if no resolution is reached by Monday when Van Hool’s board of directors meets again. This could result in reduced severance payments for employees and financial losses for various stakeholders. The fate of Van Hool hangs in the balance as it continues to struggle financially.

The question of whether Zwaaneveld and Van Hool’s board have acted in the best interests of their employees will inevitably come into focus as they navigate this difficult time. The potential impact on their 2500 employees is significant, with hopes for a successful restart after resolving this crisis uncertain at best.

Overall, Van Hool’s situation serves as a cautionary tale about over-expansion and mismanagement in business ventures. It highlights how even seemingly solid companies can quickly fall apart when faced with insurmountable financial challenges and unforeseen obstacles such as family disputes or difficulty attracting investment capital.

By Samantha Johnson

As a content writer at, I craft engaging and informative articles that aim to captivate readers and provide them with valuable insights. With a background in journalism and a passion for storytelling, I thoroughly enjoy delving into diverse topics, conducting research, and producing compelling content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news pieces to in-depth features, I strive to deliver content that is both accurate and engaging, constantly seeking to bring fresh perspectives to our readers. Collaborating with a talented team of editors and journalists, I am committed to maintaining the high standards of journalism upheld by our publication.

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