Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Showdown in Gambia: Foreign troops at border as Jammeh refuses to go (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Showdown in Gambia: Senegalese troops enter Country as Jammeh refuses to go (part 2)

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Davos 2017: Global leaders try to understand populist surge

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: What next for the global healthcare industry?

Read more

FOCUS

New initiative provides free services to homeless in Paris

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Moving US embassy to Jerusalem would be 'a terrible mistake'

Read more

ENCORE!

Hisham Matar's memoir 'The Return' seeks answers in post-Gaddafi Libya

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Acquired tastes: The 'disgusting' French delicacies many foreigners won't eat

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Brazil: Docu-drama spotlights harsh reality of prison life

Read more

Business

Alstom's board favour GE's €12.35 billion offer

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-06-18

The French engineering company Alstom said on Wednesday that it will decide by the end of May whether to accept a 12.35 billion euro offer from General Electric for its energy business.

The company said in a statement on its website that it had “received a binding offer” from GE, Alstom described the GE proposal as “practically perfect.”

It added its board had voted unanimously to accept the offer but had set up a committee of independent directors to review the proposed transaction,

France's government, which regularly intervenes in corporate decisions, had suggested that the sale to an American company was a threat to French energy independence and jobs. Officials had pressed for more time to allow rival Siemens, based in Germany, to pursue its interest.

Alstom said Wednesday that should it accept a Siemens offer it would have to pay the American company 1.5 percent of the purchase price.

The French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg made clear on Monday that he was unhappy that Alstom, "can decide to sell 75 percent of a national jewel behind the backs of the employees, of the government, of most of the board and of the senior executives".

He reproached Alstom head Patrick Kron in strong terms for not informing the government of takeover talks, accusing him of deliberately keeping him in the dark.

French President François Hollande has said that the French state would "inevitably have a say" and that the "sole criterion" in choosing the successful bidder would be which one "would be the best in creating more business and jobs".

Hollande weighed in

Hollande held meetings with both the chief executive of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, and the head of GE, Jeff Immelt, in Paris on Monday.

Energy accounts for about 70 percent of Alstom's business - with the GE deal potentially including the Thermal Power, Renewable Power and Grid Sectors - with the rest focused mainly on making railway equipment including the prized TGV high-speed train. Alstom said it would focus on transport operations after selling off the energy business.

On Tuesday, Siemens said it had decided to make an offer to Alstom. Reuters reported that Siemens proposed to exchange part of its train business plus cash for Alstom's power arm in a proposal worth $14.5 billion.

The German behemoth said its interest was conditional on it being granted access to the French company's books and permission to quiz management.

In unusually frank remarks about company strategy, the German government on Monday said a possible tie-up between the French and German groups offered a "big opportunity" for both countries.

It would present "great potential in terms of industrial policy for Germany and France", a spokesman for the economy ministry said in response to reporters' questions.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP, AFP)
 

Date created : 2014-04-30

  • FRANCE

    French officials meet Siemens, GE for talks on Alstom's future

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    'National interest' at stake in bids for France's Alstom

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Potential GE takeover of Alstom a ‘patriotic concern’ for France

    Read more

COMMENT(S)