Van firm LDV into administration


Van maker LDV has been placed into administration by a court, threatening up to 850 jobs and thousands more in the supply chain.

Attempts to sell Birmingham-based LDV as a going concern have failed.

Talks with one potential buyer, the Malaysian firm Weststar, broke down at the last minute last weekend, leading LDV to apply for administration.

It is feared that any buyer would take machinery abroad and continue making vans overseas

Such a move would end decades of production at the Washwood Heath site.

LDV managers and workers were angered last week when they were forced to cancel a planned lobby of Parliament because of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's cabinet reshuffle.

Directors had hoped to persuade the government to agree to a 60m loan to secure the firm, but no ministers were available to meet them.

Near-standstill

The firm claimed the loan would have cost the state much less than the collapse of the business will.

In addition to the workforce, LDV employs 1,200 people in dealerships and is a major customer for local suppliers.

Since 2006 the firm - formerly Leyland DAF Vans - has been owned by Russia's Gaz Group, controlled by Oleg Deripaska.

The Washwood Heath plant has been at a near-standstill since before the end of 2008 during the search for a new owner.

Weststar had agreed a deal to acquire the company from its Russian owners, with the aim of restarting production in July.

The government pledged a 5m four-week loan until the deal was sealed, after the firm said it intended to maintain production at the Birmingham plant and expand manufacturing in Malaysia.

However, Weststar pulled out at the last minute.

BBC business reporter John Moylan said: "This signalled the end of the road for the company which was once part of British Leyland."

THE BBC