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LDV

LDV’s plans, announced tonight, for a management buyout are an excellent sign of faith by the businesses leaders in the company.

For some weeks now I have been working closely with the company as they have shaped their ambitious plans for winning a big share of the “green van” market. I’ve been playing my part making sure ministers and the most senior officials at DBERR are completely clear about the opportunity LDV has now put on the table and how government can help.

LDV’s management team have also issued the following news tonight.

MANAGEMENT BUYOUT LAUNCHED TO CREATE EUROPE’S FIRST GREEN VAN COMPANY AT LDV

A management buyout to transform award-winning British van manufacturer LDV into Europe’s first green van company is nearing completion, it was confirmed today.

The plan led by former GAZ Chairman and Volvo MD Erik Eberhardsen would make the Birmingham-based manufacturer the first volume producer of electric vans in the UK.

Plans are at an advanced stage, with prototypes of electric vans already trialing with a number of major companies and strong prospects of support from the European Investment Bank. The company is now in constructive discussions with the government about securing bridging support to complete the project.

Erik Eberhardsen said:

“LDV can be a symbol of the low carbon, green manufacturing future that the government says it wants Britain to lead”.

We are almost ready to go, but we need the Government to do its bit. I am confident they understand the potential to secure this exciting green technology in Britain – and the need to move very quickly”.

“We have world class skills here in Birmingham and this is an award-winning company. In LDV, Britain has a real chance to be a world-leader in the technologies of tomorrow.”

An LDV spokesman said:

“The Government has talked about backing ‘a green industrial revolution’ – this project is talk turned into action. LDV has been a successful company and just last week won a significant new order. Short term bridging support for this MBO from the government will secure its future and the future of hundreds of jobs.”

Lord Mandelson has pledged that Britain will be “at the leading edge of the development of low carbon vehicles and green manufacturing”.

LDV which had seen fortunes transformed since GAZ group took over in 2006, has like other manufacturers been hit hard by the global downturn. Sales across the van sector have almost halved in the past three months. GAZ has continuously invested in the Washwood Heath plant putting in over $100m of capital which has created 200 new jobs, new production facilities and world class skills. Its commitment has continued with support for the MBO.

Last week LDV won a three year contract to supply vehicles to timber and builder’s merchant Jewson and its sister company Graham, the plumber’s merchant. LDV will supply 500 vehicles worth more that £11 million, distributed across Jewson’s and Graham’s nationwide branch network.

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