British Van Maker Back In Bankruptcy

LONDON (AP) -- British van maker LDV was placed under bankruptcy protection on Monday following the collapse of a rescue bid by a Malaysian company.

The court action in Birmingham in central England marked the second time that LDV, which has about 850 employees, had been placed in administration.

LDV's Asian distributor, Weststar, had sought to take over LDV but that effort fell apart last week when the Malaysian company said it had been unable to arrange financing.

LDV withdrew a previous application for administration on May 18 after Weststar confirmed its intention to take over. Britain's Department of Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform had offered a bridging loan of up to 5 million pounds ($7.5 million) to help keep the company going.

LDV, formerly Leyland DAF Vans, has been owned by Russia's Gaz Group, controlled by billionaire Oleg Deripaska, since 2006.

Weststar has exclusive rights to market, assemble, distribute and service LDV's Maxus light commercial vehicles in 20 countries, including Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Administrators will be appointed to run LDV, aiming either to save it as a going operation or selling off its assets.

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