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I never heard of LDV..? was it like a MG or much smaller and less popular?



By James Mackintosh in London and Arkady Ostrovsky in Moscow
Published: 31/7/2006 | Last Updated: 31/7/2006 18:15 London Time


Russia's Gaz Group became the latest foreign buyer of a British vehicle factory on Monday, paying £50m ($93m) for the loss-making Birmingham vanmaker LDV.

Gaz, 80 per cent owned by the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, pledged to keep the company's Washwood Heath factory and its 850 workers even as it prepared parallel production of the leading LDV van in Russia.

The move follows the sale of the defunct carmaker MG Rover to China's Nanjing Automobile and the purchase of the sports car producer TVR by Nikolai Smolenski, son of another Russian multi-millionaire.

Gaz has also set up an international headquarters in the UK to look for further acquisitions and joint ventures to expand its cars, trucks and tractors conglomerate outside Russia. It is already in talks about buying part or all of VM Motori, the diesel engine supplier to LDV that is owned by the US car dealer Roger Penske and Germany's DaimlerChrysler.

"The overriding objective is to try to double the size of the Gaz global business by 2011," said Martin Leach, the former head of Ford of Europe and Maserati who joined the Gaz board and became chairman of LDV on Monday. That means increasing Gaz's turnover from $3.5bn to about $7bn in five years, much of it from increasing the $700m currently made outside the former Soviet states.

Gaz is understood to have paid about £50m to LDV's private equity owners, Sun Capital of the US and European Acquisition Capital, with the possibility of further payments linked to performance. Gaz is understood to be investing about another £100m to assemble LDV vans in Russia and expand distribution, particularly outside the UK.

Sun has refused to say how much it paid for LDV six months ago when it used a 24-hour administration to buy the van-maker without £234m of liabilities, most owed to trade creditors. But a person close to the deal said LDV cost Sun £53m.

Steve Young, the former AT Kearney motor consultant app***ointed as chief executive of LDV, said the company hoped to increase Birmingham van production by 50 per cent next year to 15,000 and would be keeping the factory. He said it could add to the 850-strong workforce if sales went as planned, and in the longer term the company had the capacity to build 50,000 vans in the UK.

The expansion of Gaz contrasts with most Russian carmakers, who are struggling against a wave of foreign investment.
 

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ash said:
I never heard of LDV..? was it like a MG or much smaller and less popular?
It was once part of "British Leyland" - the same group as MG and Rover, and its vehicles were once sold as "Freight Rovers". It only made comercial vehicles - vans.


http://www.ldvmaxus.com/overview.htm

For a more detailed and acurate history see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LDV_Limited

"
LDV was formed in 1993 as Leyland DAF Vans Limited following a management buy-out of DAF NV's Leyland DAF van manufacturing division, following the bankruptcy of the Dutch company. Later the name was officially changed to LDV Limited.

Prior to its merger with Leyland Trucks and DAF Trucks in 1987 it was part of the British Leyland/BMC empire and was latterly the Freight Rover division of the Land Rover Group of British Leyland.

In December 2005 it was subject to a financial restructuring with ownership divided between EAC (European Acquisition Capital Limited) and Sun European Partners.

In June 2006 it was announced that LDV was in talks with the Russian automotive group GAZ about a possible sale.

On 31 July 2006, BBC news reported that LDV had been sold to GAZ for an undisclosed sum. A GAZ spokesperson said that the company had appointed former Ford of Europe executive Martin Leach and former A.T. Kearney executive Steve Young to run the business, and that it planned to expand production at LDV's Birmingham plant by adding new product lines and entering new markets in Europe and elsewhere.

"
 
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