Now Hitachi joins Alstom melee

Japan’s Hitachi is in talks to join compatriot Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) and Siemens in a bid for the energy assets of Alstom, in another twist to the German-led effort to counter GE’s $17bn offer for the French business.

Hitachi’s possible involvement emerged today in Japan, less than a day after MHI confirmed it had been asked by Siemens to consider a joint bid.

MHI and Hitachi are already allies in the power equipment sector via their joint venture, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.

A report in Japan’s Nikkei said the pair will set up a new joint venture to bid for Alstom’s steam turbine operation.

Reports yesterday suggested that Siemens would take the gas turbine business of Alstom under the proposed counter offer.

The increasingly complex and global nature of a possible Siemens-led counter-bid is likely to set nerves jangling in France, where fears were expressed yesterday of a wholesale dismantling of Alstom.

It also leaves unclear the intended fate of Alstom’s onshore and offshore wind units, and its grid business.

Siemens and MHI said they will decide by 16 June whether to make an offer.