The takeover battle for France’s Alstom is set to intensify on Tuesday, with Siemens apparently aiming to formalize its bid while GE is set to flesh out its pledge to preserve jobs and research activity in France.
As the curtain fell on negotiations Monday – a day in which
the chief executives from both GE and then Siemens met with French president
Francois Hollande – Alstom’s board was leaning towards GE’s offer, according to
That preference was based at least in part on the more
advanced state of GE’s offer, which has apparently evolved over several months
of negotiations between GE and Alstom.
GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt reportedly already has the
approval of his company’s board for the deal.
minister Arnaud Montebourg, however, expressed irritation that negotiations have been going on for a while between GE and Alstom in private.
Montebourg suggested he would prefer a deal with
Siemens, keeping Alstom a fully European company.
“We won’t let Alstom sell this national champion behind the
back of its shareholders, its employees and the French government,” Montebourg
wrote on Twitter early on Monday.
The French government does not own a stake in Alstom, but it
does own parts of several of the company’s biggest customers – including Electricite
In spite of the tough talk from the Elysee Palace, however, some analysts believe it may be easier for GE to preserve jobs in France than it would for Siemens, given the smaller
overlap between GE's businesses and Alstom’s.
Siemens’ board will convene on Tuesday to decide whether –
and how – to bid for Alstom, according to reports.
In his meeting with Hollande, Immelt confirmed that GE will
on Tuesday firm up its commitments to protecting and enriching Alstom’s jobs base
and R&D facilities in France.