Fokker gains brief reprieve

PETER RODGERS

Business Editor

Fokker, the stricken Dutch aircraft maker, was yesterday given a five- to six-week reprieve by its government while a search continues for a buyer.

Hans Wijers, Dutch economic affairs minister, said the government was making an interim loan of 255m guilders (pounds 100m) and would also bring forward the purchase of four Fokker jets worth 110m guilders.

Mr Wijers played down the chances of a rescue from any quarter. He said: "There is no reason whatsoever for great optimism. The company faces very great problems." Partners still had to be found for Fokker in a very short period in an industry with "large financial risks, continuing overcapacity and ruinous prices. For the time being it is just words and paper."

The cash holds out hope to Shorts Brothers, the Belfast company where about 800 staff depend on supplying wings for Fokker's planes.

On Tuesday, Fokker sought court protection from creditors for its three aircraft subsidiaries, ending a long struggle to keep the 76-year-old company afloat.

The move came after Daimler-Benz, Fokker's German majority shareholder, said it could no longer support losses at Fokker, which is minority owned by the Dutch government.

There has been persistent speculation that Canadian-based Bombardier, owner of Shorts, is interested in buying Fokker, but so far neither Bombardier nor Fokker has confirmed talks are taking place.

Bombardier has a reputation for buying and turning round companies in difficulty. It makes regional jets and executive and commuter aircraft such as the Canadair RJ and Challenger, de Havilland Dash 8 and LearJet.

Fokker has however confirmed it is talking to a number of aerospace companies around the world without naming them.

Analysts expect that if Bombardier does buy Fokker it will do so only after the Dutch government has cleaned it up. The price is thought likely to be purely nominal.

Mr Wijers said the amount agreed with the administrators "was based on providing enough time to produce a reasonable scenario, while preventing it from dragging on so long that the assurances would disappear."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent