Says German Government Would Support Siemens-Alstom Tie-Up
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[May 10, 2014]
By Andreas Rinke
STRALSUND, Germany (Reuters) -
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that the German government
would support a tie-up between German engineering firm Siemens and
French rival Alstom if the corporate decision-makers decide that it
would make sense.
Speaking at a news conference with French President Francois
Hollande in the Baltic shore town of Stralsund, Merkel said it was
above all a corporate decision and her government did not want to
intervene in that process.
Cash-strapped Alstom, which makes power generation and transmission
systems as well as trains and trams, is the target of a takeover bid
from U.S. giant General Electric.
"Those are corporate decisions and we, from the German side at
least, will not get involved in that," Merkel said.
"But we talked about it. If the corporate decisions lead to the
point where one says 'that would be advantageous' then Germany will
also positively accompany it."
Hollande agreed with Merkel that any take-over was above all a
Both said their governments were waiting for Siemens to make an
offer. Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser has already discussed a
possible bid for Alstom's energy business with Merkel.
"We are awaiting the detailed offer from Siemens before taking a
position. We don't want to prejudge the choice," Hollande said.
He also said the French government was focusing on what would be in
the best interests of Alstom and Siemens employees.
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Alstom said last week it was reviewing a binding $16.9 billion offer
from GE for its energy arm but also left the door open to a
potential deal with Germany's Siemens.
The French government has previously signaled that it would prefer a
tie-up with German conglomerate Siemens.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Stralsund, Erik Kirschbaum in Berlin
and Leigh Thomas in Paris; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)
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