GE proposes Alstom RE JV

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt

GE chief executive Jeff Immelt

US industrial giant GE is proposing a 50/50 joint venture in renewables as part of a revised offer for the energy assets of Alstom.

The JV is one of three proposed by GE – the others are in Grid and Nuclear – in a shift from the position of its original $17bn offer, which was based around straight acquisition of the assets.

The renewables JV would be based in France and include the offshore wind and hydropower business of Alstom. The onshore wind unit of the French group is not mentioned as part of the arrangement.

The Grid JV, also based in France, would include the grid operations of both Alstom and GE.

The revised bid comes after the French government made it clear that it will back partnerships rather than a deal that saw the wholesale transfer of what it sees as strategic assets.

It includes a Global Nuclear and French Steam Alliance, with the French government holding a preferred share and a veto over issues of security and technology.

Away from energy, the revamped GE proposal posits a transportation alliance, including the sale of the US group's signalling business to Alstom.

GE CEO Jeff Immelt is in Paris to discuss the offer with Alstom and French officials.

Immelt said:“Our discussions with the French government over the past seven weeks have been productive. As a result, we have reached agreements with Alstom’s management that will create an alliance between our companies in both spirit and practice.

"The alliance will retain and strengthen France’s presence in the energy business and reinforce Alstom Transport. It creates jobs, establishes headquarters decision-making in France and ensures that the Alstom name will endure."

The new GE offer comes after a joint approach by Siemens and Mitsubishi of Japan, which included the creation of JVs between Alstom and the latter.

GE said the new proposal does not alter its valuation of Alstom – and said the deadline for the expiry of its offer remains Monday 23 June.

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