Alstom Wind 'complementary' to GE

Alstom’s wind business holds “a lot of complementary pieces” to General Electric’s, says GE vice president for renewables Anne McEntee, who calls GE’s takeover bid “a great move” by chairman Jeff Immelt.

“There are clearly some nice complementary areas that fit well in the GE portfolio,” McEntee tells Recharge, confirming that GE’s renewables business, part of GE’s Power & Water segment, is providing feedback to the parent company on the potential implications of the deal.

While declining to speculate on what an Alstom takeover would mean for GE’s offshore wind ambitions, McEntee said: “We are going after certain segments. I think it’s a good swing by our chairman to get to the 70% goal [for overall revenues from the industrial segment]”.

McEntee nevertheless cautioned that the deal has a long way to go.

The French government, which owns a 1% stake in Alstom but claims the right to scupper business deals it believes cut against the country’s national interest, today said it would not support GE’s bid for Alstom unless the terms are sweetened – suggesting a “balanced partnership” would be preferred to a takeover.

Alstom’s board has gone on the record as favouring GE’s outright takeover offer – which includes promises to preserve and create jobs in France – although it has left the door open to a rival offer from Siemens.

However, company sources at Siemens seem relatively unenthusiastic about the prospect of a deal with Alstom, seeing the talks as being driven more by political considerations than potential corporate synergies – a view with which many analysts agree.

“The deal still needs to close,” says McEntee. “We have to get through a lot of regulatory approvals.”

“This is so early,” she adds. “Even internally we’ve had to keep things very confidential.”

“We’ll see how this thing evolves.”