Blog: Dave LeggettWhat's occurring at LDV?

Dave Leggett | 22 June 2006

Just six months after acquiring UK-based van maker LDV debt-free from administrators it would seem that private equity group Sun Capital is close to selling it on, with Russian group GAZ the likely recipient. We're trying to find out more today and there are options that may not include outright sale, but it does seem that Sun Capital is, at the least, happy to entertain the idea of sale.

That is at odds with some of the noises coming out from Sun Capital managers following the acquisition ('in it for the long-haul' etc) but the cynics will say that that's what private equity companies do sometimes. Sun Capital justifies its actions to its owners on turning a profit through the sale while GAZ gets a 'new' product that may be just what it needs if a price can be agreed.

If sale to GAZ is the outcome, would GAZ carry on making vans in Birmingham or prefer to make them all in Russia? I think we know what the answer to that might be. Sticking points in negotiations might be the Washwood Heath site itself and who takes financial responsibility for redundancies.

I don't want to sound cynical, but the suits from Florida never sounded all that convincing as long-term custodians of LDV. Maybe a deal will be done for GAZ to have distribution rights in Russia, assemble kits sent out from UK and the Washwood Heath plant will actually be making more vans? Yes, and pigs might fly.

I fear that another blow may be around the corner for the West Midlands economy.

See also:

Idea for a TV sitcom

Good luck to LDV

UK: LDV in talks over possible sale to GAZ


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