GE is facing competition from Siemens in its US$ 13 billion bid for the French engineering company, Alstom. The German company has written to the Alstom board "to signal its willingness to discuss future strategic opportunities". Media reports suggest that Siemens is offering part of its train-making business plus cash in exchange for Alstom’s power turbines business.
For its part, Alstom released a brief statement saying that it “continues and deepens its strategic reflection". A further statement from the company is expected no later than the end of the month.
The role of the French government
The French government could also have a major influence in the final outcome of discussions. It has the power to intervene to protect companies it deems as being of national importance.
Over the weekend, the economy minister appeared to favour Siemens’ bid; however, following a meeting between GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt and President Francois Hollande, Bloomberg reported that the president “doesn’t oppose GE’s proposal”. The president is also due to meet with Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser and Chairman Gerhard Cromme.
Edited from various sources by Jonathan Rowland
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