Industryweek 6637 France Rejects Ge Bid Alstom Current Form

France Rejects GE Bid for Alstom 'In Current Form'

May 5, 2014
The French government rejects a bid by General Electric for Alstom's energy business, calling for a "balanced partnership" that could include a rail deal.

PARIS -- The French government on Monday rejected a bid by U.S. industrial giant General Electric (IW 500/6) for Alstom's (IW 1000/169) energy business, calling for a "balanced partnership" that could include a rail deal.

"In its current form, we can unfortunately not agree to the propositions you have made, resting only on the acquisition of Alstom's activities in the energy sector," Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg said in a letter to GE chief Jeff Immelt.

GE has been vying for Alstom's energy assets with German giant Siemens (IW 1000/35) in a politically sensitive bidding war over the French engineering group.

Montebourg was charged by French President Francois Hollande with responding to GE's 12.4 billion euro ($17 billion) bid for the energy assets of the company, which employs 18,000 staff in the country.

The firebrand minister has vowed to "defend the industrial interests of the nation" in the deal.

"We appreciate the engagement of the French government," the company said. "We believe our proposal is good for France, for Alstom and for GE. As our letter to President Hollande stressed, we are open to continuing dialogue."

Shares in GE, a Dow component, closed at $26.58, down 0.4%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014

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