DAF buyout on despite counter-bid

THE MANAGEMENT buyout of Leyland DAF's assembly plant is to go ahead despite a last-minute counter-bid from a former director, writes John Murray.

A spokesman for the administrative receivers, John Talbot and Murdoch McKillop of Arthur Andersen, said that the deal with the existing management team was moving ahead. 'The future has been determined, and it was very important that uncertainty was removed as quickly as possible.'

Ian McKinnon, a former Leyland DAF director, was reported at the weekend to be planning to put an alternative deal to buy the entire truck division from the receivers this week.

His name had been connected previously with a possible bid, but it is understood that he was not able to satisfy the receivers that his proposals were viable. But a weekend report said that he was now to put a pounds 100m cash bid to the receivers, backed by SG Warburg, the merchant bank, and its fund management arm, Mercury Asset Management.

He was reported to have said his proposals would save 1,500 jobs at the Leyland plant in Preston, as against 700 jobs under the buyout led by Jim Gilchrist, the company's joint managing director.

But a spokeman for the management buyout team said that the buyout would clear the way for the other parts of Leyland DAF to be saved also, so the job comparisons were misleading. He added that progress was made over the weekend in resolving the legal issues still to be resolved before the buyout can go ahead.