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LDV’s Maxus van range gets another lifeline

Production of Maxus vans has recommenced at LDV’s Drews Lane site in Birmingham, following the completion of a major refinancing programme by its new majority owner.

The last of Britain’s van-manufacturing companies went into administration in December, 2005, but was almost immediately offered a rescue package by investment firm Sun European Partners through its affiliate Sun Capital. European Acquisition Capital (EAC), which has been involved with LDV since 2003, retains a minority stake.

The rapid cash injection protects most of the 1,200 jobs at risk and allows LDV to continue growth and development of the Maxus range, launched early last year in panel van format.

The Maxus project itself had been partly baled out by EAC: the van was to have been built in Poland in partnership with Daewoo but those plans were scuppered with the collapse of the Korean carmaker.

Shifting the brand new Maxus production line equipment from Poland to Birmingham is believed to have cost £125m.

With the ageing Convoy and Pilot platforms now phased out, the next stage in Maxus’ development was to have been minibus and chassis cab derivatives. LDV insists these will go ahead this year as planned.

Allan Amey, chief executive of LDV, says: “Sun Capital shares our growth vision for the business and is the right partner to take the development of our best selling Maxus range forward. I am confident we now have the right platform in place to pursue a sustainable long term growth strategy for the business.”

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