Industryweek 6855 Ge Set Boost Alstom Bid Rivaling Siemens Mitsubishi 2

GE Set To Boost Alstom Bid, Rivaling Siemens, Mitsubishi

June 18, 2014
General Electric is set to make an improved offer for parts of French power-to-rail group Alstom by the end of the week, informed sources say.

PARIS -- General Electric (IW 500/6) is set to make an improved offer for parts of French power-to-rail group Alstom (IW 1000/169) by the end of the week, informed sources said Wednesday.

The head of GE, Jeff Immelt, will visit Paris on Thursday and Friday to meet with government officials, the sources said, even though GE has declared it will not enter a bidding war with rivals Siemens and Mitsubishi.

But on Tuesday, as the German engineering group Siemens (IW 1000/35) and Japanese firm Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (IW 1000/140) laid out details of their offers for parts of Alstom, General Electric stepped up its campaign and indicated that it was ready to transfer its signaling business to Alstom's railway activities.

General Electrics's offer of 12.35 billion euros ($17 billion) for all of Alstom's power-generation business is valid until Monday.

Until Alstom, a private stock-market listed company, was rescued with government support about 10 years ago, the French group also had a big shipbuilding division. It is now under financial pressure and says it is not big enough to compete in world markets for power stations, although earlier this year it had put part of its rail business up for sale.

GE and Siemens have both had talks with French President Francois Hollande, for whom the fate of Alstom, a top name in French industry and a strategic supplier to the French power industry, is a hot issue.

Hollande has made rejuvenation of industry a centerpiece of a policy U-turn helping businesses and cutting public spending in an effort to reduce a huge trade deficit and record unemployment.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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