Siemens would keep stake in Alstom trains combination
Send a link to a friend
[June 05, 2014]
PARIS (Reuters) - German
engineering group Siemens <SIEGn.DE> would keep a
minority stake in any enlarged Alstom <ALSO.PA>
train-making business should its plan to buy the French
company's power turbines arm work out, the head of
Siemens France told a French newspaper.
Reiterating that Siemens was "serious" about making a
counter-proposal to an offer from U.S.-based General Electric <GE.N>
before its self-imposed deadline of June 16, Christophe de Maistre
told Le Parisien the company was also "willing to discuss our
activities in rail signaling - which carry twice the weight of
Sources told Reuters in May that the rival Siemens plan to buy
Alstom's power division would hand Alstom its trains business along
with an amount of cash yet to be determined, creating a bigger
transport group based around Alstom's TGV high-speed trains.
That business would be majority-owned by France and would have its
headquarters there, the sources said.
In rail signaling, Siemens would offer to take over Alstom's
business but set up the headquarters of that unit in France, the
GE offered 12.35 billion euros ($16.8 billion) for Alstom's power
arm in April, prompting Siemens to start work on a rival deal and
the French government to pass a decree extending its powers to block
deals in strategic industry sectors.
In recent weeks, there have been a series of discussions between the
French government and all three companies, with Economy Minister
Arnaud Montebourg and President Francois Hollande attempting to
secure concessions on jobs and the location of businesses.
On May 28, the government said GE's proposal - which also now
involves plans to co-operate in the transport sector - had been
"improved" and "strengthened" after CEO Jeff Immelt came to Paris to
promise an extra 1,000 engineering jobs in France.
[to top of second column]
GE has also since launched an advertising campaign in newspapers and
on French television stressing its connections and commitments to
One of the concerns voiced by the government surrounds control of
the production of turbines for nuclear power stations, which play an
important role in the French power sector and are important to the
business of the country's main state-controlled power utility EDF <EDF.PA>
and to specialist nuclear firm Areva <AREVA.PA>.
Both potential buyers have also sought to allay the concerns by
offering to ringfence the manufacture of nuclear turbines.
($1 = 0.7341 Euros)
(Reporting by Andrew Callus and Cyril Altemeyer; Editing by Sophie
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.