According to several foreign media, VanMoof would have declared the bankruptcy of its American branch. It is in fact much more complex than that, and incidentally false. We spoke with Jan Padberg, the Dutch administrator in charge of the VanMoof file in the Netherlands, who gives us clear answers about the American situation.
Specializing in connected electric bikes, VanMoof is currently going through the darkest situation in its history. The Dutch company declared bankruptcy in mid-July, initially in its native country, then in its British, French and German branches more recently.
In the United Kingdom, the voluntary judicial liquidation was even recorded by its director. Two licensed insolvency practitioners, Paul Appleton and Paul Cooper of Begbies Traynor, have been hired as co-liquidators to oversee the entire process. In short, the situation is bad.
A history of suspension of trial
Other markets threatened by a Damocles sword include Taiwan and Japan, where operations have simply been suspended. The United States continues to maintain its activity. Except that several articles have recently relayed the following news: the American branch of VanMoof would also be bankrupt.
On Twitter, Jan Padberg, current administrator in charge of the VanMoof file in the Netherlands – it is he who accompanies the company in the insolvency process – protested against certain comments relayed. We therefore contacted him so that he could enlighten us on the real situation of the Batavian group across the Atlantic.
Clearly, VanMoof BV – the Dutch entity – was taken to court in the United States by a particular customer, following bodily injuries, he explains to us. VanMoof BV would like to put this procedure on hold. To do this, the company requested recognition of its bankruptcy in the Netherlands, from the USA.
“VANMOOF US Inc. is still in operation »
By acknowledging VanMoof’s bankruptcy in its home market, the American courts are giving VanMoof BV the opportunity to put its trial in the United States on hold. And Jan Padberg is quite clear: “VANMOOF US Inc. is still in business and the filing of this application has nothing to do with VANMOOF US Inc.“.
Nevertheless, the current situation of VanMoof remains very worrying. Negotiations are currently underway with a potential buyer – a subsidiary of McLaren Applied in this case – but the process is dragging on. The longer the brand remains at a standstill awaiting an outcome, the more the chances of a real recovery dwindle.
If nothing is done, we expect the situation in the United States, Taiwan and Japan to worsen over the next few weeks.