Graeme Brown, Birmingham Post, 22nd July, 2009
Hundreds of redundant LDV van workers have been warned that a potential sale of the company could now drag on until the end of the summer. Administrator PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) admitted that the holiday period and the complexity of due diligence investigations could delay any potential agreement with a buyer.
The van-maker collapsed amid debts of £75 million in early June with the loss of more than 800 jobs after nearly six months with production at a complete standstill. Up to nine would-be buyers signed confidentiality agreements ahead of further due diligence, with names in the frame said to include Malaysian group Weststar, Indian group Mahindra and Mahindra and Chinese car firm Nanjing.
Administrator Rob Hunt of PwC said: “We are continuing to have conversations with a group of people who are interested in buying some or all of LDV’s assets. We are not able to say who those parties are. I suspect that this whole sale process is likely to take longer in time, not only because of the holiday period, but also because of the complexities involved.
We are encouraged by the fact that there is still quite a lot of interest but I do not think that we will sell this business by the end of July. We would like to see a transaction in August. Will we get one? I hope so. Can we guarantee it? No. Realistically, if you are trying to do a transaction in August, which is always a holiday period, that will be a challenge.” Rob Hunt of PwC, Administrator, LDV Group Limited
“We are encouraged by the fact that there is still quite a lot of interest but I do not think that we will sell this business by the end of July. We would like to see a transaction in August. Will we get one? I hope so. Can we guarantee it? No. Realistically, if you are trying to do a transaction in August, which is always a holiday period, that will be a challenge.”
Mr Hunt said potential rescuers were still going through the due diligence process. PwC has not released the names of any prospective buyers, but billionaire Phones 4u founder John Caudwell has been linked, and Malaysian group Weststar announced its interest before LDV went into administration. Mr Hunt said: “For some people this is quite an extensive process – some want to engage with the dealer network, suppliers etc.”
More than 810 workers have already been made redundant whilst administrators have retained a skeleton staff of 35 employees to help maintain the mothballed Washwood Heath factory. The shutdown has had a wider affect on the supply chain, and experts believe that thousands of jobs have been affected by the firm’s collapse.
The Birmingham Post revealed last month that 1,270 jobs at LDV dealers up and down the country had been put at risk, and more than 230 dealers and suppliers were still owed millions of pounds.
[Source: Birmingham Post]
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