Last year over 320,000 vans were sold in the UK, which means a significant percent of roadways are occupied by men in England shirts smirking after slinging granny’s china into the back of a Maxus. Of late, the British White Van Man seems to have acquired an international reputation and a young Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska has got in on the action. Deripaska is 38 years old and worth US$7.5bn and was the youngest billionaire in the world at the age of 35. He is the CEO of GAZ, Russia’s second largest automotive company.
GAZ has acquired LDV, makers of the Maxus van, from Sun European Partners for an undisclosed amount. Sun European Partners acquired the trade and assets of LDV in December 2005 when it structured, led and advised on a major refinancing package to rescue the business. The group took control of LDV just days before it became another high profile collapse for the long-suffering UK automotive industry.
Sun European Partners specialises in turnaround and went in with an aggressive plan to whittle down the size of the staff, but to move to the next stage LDV needs a large cash injection to increase distribution. GAZ are buying opportunity with LDV rather than cash earnings but it works with the Russian company’s strategy as it is keen to expand internationally.
Though Sun European Partners refused to reveal the purchase price or amount it sold LDV for, the van manufacturer is no longer making losses. Philip Dougall, managing director of Sun European Partners said: “Since the acquisition, LDV has had a 100% increase in the year-to-date sales of Maxus, and has a strong order book underpinned by the Royal Mail.”