Alstom deadline looms for Siemens

Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) are being tipped in Germany to mount a joint bid for parts of Alstom's energy business today under which the Alstom brand would continue to exist, while both MHI and the French state would take stakes in the company.

As anticipation of a Siemens-led bid grows, little mention has been made of what may be proposed for Alstom's wind and offshore grid businesses.

Siemens has a dominant market position in Europe in both offshore wind and grid, and could encounter competition issues if taking over those parts of Alstom.

Alstom's energy business, including its onshore and offshore wind operations, is already the subject of a bid of $17bn by GE of the US, which has been supported by the French group's board.

Siemens and MHI last week gave a deadline until today to make a bid on Alstom or not.

It is likely that they will do so, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung writes today, as Siemens chief executive Joe Kaeser is scheduled to speak on Tuesday in front of the industry committee of the French parliament.

According to French and German media, Siemens in the three-way deal would only take over Alstom's gas turbine business, and in exchange cede part of its rail and signalling business to Alstom.

Other reports suggest a €4bn ($5.4bn) cash component will form part of Siemens' offer.

Both Mitsubishi and the French state would take a stake of up to 10% in the smaller version of Alstom, claim several reports, without disclosing their sources.

MHI didn't confirm the information and said it would "study various possibilities," according to the AFP news agency.

Reports from Japan have also suggested compatriot Hitachi may join MHI in a bid for parts of Siemens.