The municipality of Helmond has pulled the plug on the plan to privatize the Automotive Campus. At the beginning of last year, it signed a letter of intent, together with the province of North Brabant, to transfer their proprietary rights to the third owner, construction company Van de Ven, and a new partner, Marcel Boekhoorn’s Ramphastos Real Estate Investments. Helmond has canceled the plan, fearing the campus will fall into foreign hands after Boekhoorn sold the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven to an American investment fund in which Singapore state-owned GIC turned out to be the main investor.
“We see the potential risk that the Automotive Campus will fall into foreign hands as well. And we don’t want that, given the campus’ public importance for Helmond,” the mayor and aldermen write in a letter to the municipal council. Not wanting to make the same mistake as Eindhoven, they’re now aiming for long-term co-ownership.