Jon Griffin, Birmingham Post, 8th June, 2009
LDV today collapsed into administration following a six-month production standstill – putting 4,000 UK jobs at risk. An application by the Directors of the Birmingham van maker for administration was granted at Birmingham County Court by His Honour Judge Purle, QC.
The courtroom move effectively leaves the future of the Washwood Heath factory and 4,000 UK jobs in the hands of Administrators, with waves of redundancies likely. The hearing was called following last week’s decision by Malaysian group Weststar to call off takeover talks because of problems over funding.
The factory has been mothballed since December with no vans built and workers on half pay following a huge slump in the UK commercial vehicle market. Russian owner GAZ Group announced in February that it was looking to sell the factory but attempts at a management buyout and a takeover by Weststar have failed to materialise.
I am satisfied that administration is the appropriate course. There is likely to be a better prospect of an enhanced return for creditors via the administration route rather than the insolvency route.” His Honour Judge Purle, QC.
Judge Purle, accepting the request from LDV Directors for administration, said: ‘I am satisfied that administration is the appropriate course. There is likely to be a better prospect of an enhanced return for creditors via the administration route rather than the insolvency route.”
Brian Rawlings, the Solicitor for the Directors of LDV, said: ‘They have tried very hard not to go into insolvency but sadly the time is now up.”
Guy Jones, LDV’s PR and Marketing Director, said after the hearing that thousands of UK jobs were now at risk with LDV at the mercy of the administrators. ‘We now hope that any possible buyer recognises the potential of LDV. There is still opportunity for a bright future for LDV but we must now hand control of the business over to the administrators.
“There is still hope in the administration process of finding a buyer that takes the business as a going concern. It could potentially be a world leader and could secure thousands of jobs in the UK. We have done everything humanly possible but obviously there are thousands of jobs at risk.”
Mr Jones attacked the Government for failing to do enough to help British industry: ‘I do not think that the Government has done enough. I think that more needs to be done for British industry to make sure that these jobs are not lost for ever.”
I do not think that the Government has done enough. I think that more needs to be done for British industry to make sure that these jobs are not lost for ever.” Guy Jones, PR and Marketing Director, LDV Group Limited
He said that lack of access to working capital for industry remained a ‘key issue” despite the Government’s pledge to help companies fight the downturn.
‘I would like to thank our employees, dealers, suppliers, business partners and Liam Byrne, MP, for their support in trying to secure a future for this business.”
The administration orders sees LDV and subsidiary company Birmingham Pressings Ltd enter the administration process.
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