Siemens: 'Respect' French on Alstom

Siemens in a brief note late Friday acknowledged defeat in the takeover battle for Alstom, saying it understands the national interests of the French government.

The government in Paris Friday had approved GE's revised $17bn bid for Alstom, and announced its intention to buy a 20% stake in the company. Alstom’s board has until Monday to sign off on the deal, but that now seems a formality as it had been supportive of GE’s bid all along.

"We respect and understand the political interest of the government in the field of energy technology. Together with our partner MHI, we had verifiably the better offer with respect to industrial and strategic sustainability as well as regarding financial and social aspects. But the safeguarding of national interests is a matter of the State,” said Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser.

Siemens added that the acquisition of Alstom's gas turbine business would have fitted into its overall business, but that it now will follow its recently announced Vision 2020 strategy decisively and ambitiously.

Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries early on Friday had announced a sweetened bid, but to no avail.