The British entity of VanMoof is in compulsory liquidation. Two liquidators have been appointed to complete the process, which should result in the outright cessation of VanMoof activities across the Channel. At the same time, negotiations for a takeover are continuing.
Bankrupt since mid-July 2023, VanMoof continues its descent into hell. Its British entity is officially in compulsory liquidation, we learned from the X account (formerly Twitter) VanMoofer Newsvery active on the situation of the Dutch company specializing in electric bicycles.
A voluntary liquidation
For request of CssTricksVanMoofer News shared the official source of their information: The Gazette Official Public Record, which lists all UK companies registered with Companies House, the equivalent of our Trade and Companies Register.
Additionally, a short press release was posted on the band’s official website. It is written :
We inform you that the director, taking into account the financial situation of the company, has decided to take measures to put it in voluntary liquidation by creditors. Begbies Traynor has been engaged to assist the Director in these proceedings, and we advise you that it is proposed that Paul Appleton and Paul Cooper, who are registered insolvency practitioners bound by the insolvency code of conduct, be appointed as co-liquidators.
Begbies Traynor is a British company restructuring firm. In particular, he deals with cases of judicial liquidation. Note that here, it was not a court that placed VanMoof UK LTD in liquidation, but Taco director Jonan Carlier, also co-founder of the brand.
On The Gazette Official Public Record, the official publication of the liquidation dates from August 18, 2023. However, it would seem that the act itself would have been effective from August 15.
The consequences of a judicial liquidation, whether voluntary or ordered by a court, are never good. It is expected that VanMoof’s British activities will be permanently halted, leaving all of its local customers abandoned.
Above all, one can legitimately wonder if VanMoof UK is still part of the equation of the current takeover negotiations. As a reminder, the company Micromobility almost became the buyer, but VanMoof preferred to negotiate with other parties. Since then, the discussions have been in a real race against time.
Recently, it was rumored that McLaren Applied, and more specifically its subsidiary specializing in electric scooters, Lavoie, would be very well placed to buy the group. A source familiar with the matter even mentioned advanced talks. But is the British entity now concerned?
We can clearly doubt it, and all this can also play against VanMoof from a purely financial point of view. By officially abandoning a market and a branch, the company logically loses value. Which could also, on the other hand, facilitate an acquisition: if VanMoof is less well valued, the investment required is less.
Above all, can this cause a domino effect on other markets?
VanMoof declared bankruptcy in the Netherlands, France and Germany more recently: are these countries, including ours, next on the list? Its activities are also on hiatus in Japan and Taiwan, but would continue in the United States. The longer the brand remains at a standstill awaiting an outcome, the more the chances of a real recovery dwindle.