MHI/Siemens mull Alstom bid

Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Siemens are jointly considering a bid for parts of Alstom, the two companies said.

A statement said: “MHI and Siemens AG today announced that they have joined forces in evaluating a potential proposal for certain assets of the French multi-national conglomerate, Alstom in order to strengthen the future position of Alstom, MHI and Siemens.”

No more details are given of the assets involved.

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.

Business news wire Bloomberg claims one option being discussed is for MHI to take Alstom's grid business, while Siemens acquires the French group's gas turbine operation.

Industry sources confirmed to Recharge that reflects the situation as it currently stands.

Siemens has a market-leading position in HVDC offshore grid links, and could encounter competition issues if on top of that it took over Alstom's smaller but growing offshore grid business. MHI would not face those competition issues.

The fate of the Alstom wind operation in any MHI-Siemens counter-offer is not immediately clear, especially as Siemens has its own already market-leading unit in the offshore sector while MHI is in an existing offshore wind joint venture with Vestas of Denmark.

Reports from France have suggested the Paris government is keen to see the offshore wind assets remain in French ownership, possibly via a takeover by domestic rival Areva.

MHI and Siemens will decide whether to make a bid by 16 June.

French media reported that sources close to Alstom lamented a joint Siemens/MHI bid as meaning a "dismantling" of the French company.

Shunishi Miyanaga, MHI CEO, said: "MHI has been invited by Siemens to join forces and we firmly believe that we can substantially contribute to a partnership solution for Alstom which will create value for all parties involved, including the country of France."

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser said: "I appreciate MHI's commitment to join our efforts and I do look forward to working together with MHI to create a long-term oriented solution for Alstom, MHI and Siemens."