Alstom has received a binding €12.35 billion offer from GE for its energy business in a deal that would create “a more competitive entity to better service customer needs” in the energy sector, said Patrick Kron, chairman and CEO of Alstom.
In a statement, the company said it was setting up a committee of independent directors to review the offer “taking into consideration all stakeholders interests, including the French State”, noting that the committee would “liase with the French State to consider their views.” This follows demands from the French government that Alstom take at least a month to consider all options.
The French company has also left the door open for a rival bid from Siemens. The German industrial giant expressed its interest in an asset swap over the weekend that would see it give Alstom most of its train-making business plus cash in exchange for Alstom’s energy business.
“Siemens will have fair access to information needed to make […] a binding offer,” Alstom said, adding that such a bid would be “reviewed in light of Alstom’s corporate interest and the interest of all stakeholders”. Arnaud Montebourg, the outspoken French minister of industry, has clearly signaled a preference for the Siemens approach, accusing Alstom’s CEO of a “breach of national ethics” for attempting to negotiate a deal with GE.
Written by Jonathan Rowland
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