Banks lend pounds 7m to keep DAF UK afloat

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The Independent Online
THE receivers to DAF's UK operations have been lent pounds 7m from the company's nine banks to keep the British side going 'for about a month', according to a banking source yesterday.

One top British banker yesterday gave the UK operations 'about a 50/50 chance of survival', with the Leyland truck plant in Preston the most likely to join any possible pan- European rescue plan.

The receivers, John Talbot and Murdoch McKillop of Arthur Andersen, raised the pounds 7m from the same nine-bank syndicate as threw the Continental operations a pounds 22m lifeline, in order to pay UK wages and cover work in progress. The banks include National Westminster, Barclays and Lloyds, and are led by the biggest lender, the Dutch ABN Amro Bank.

What happens next will depend on Mr Talbot's conclusions about the UK operations' viability, which he and Mr McKillop began discussing yesterday with DAF's Dutch receivers, the company and its bankers in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

Mr Talbot and Mr McKillop will probably stay in Eindhoven for the next couple of days to complete their talks. The UK banks expect to be briefed by the receivers 'within the next few days'.

The three UK banks in the DAF syndicate are being kept in the dark over discussions between the Dutch government and the company over a potential rescue via a new company, according to sources. There is still 'no clear sign' whether any of the UK operations will be considered as part of a wider rescue deal.