France is continuing to press for guarantees from contenders to buy energy assets from Alstom, as Siemens and Mitsubishi consider a joint move to challenge a formal offer from General Electric. The race to acquire power activities from Alstom, better known for its high-speed TGV trains, is entering a crucial week, with Siemens due to present an offer by Monday ahead of a June 23 cut-off date set by GE for its 12.4 billion euros bid for all of Alstom’s energy assets.
As a consequence of this latest move, GE May Improve Bid for Alstom’s Energy Units. French Finance Minister Michel Sapin said he expects General Electric Co. (GE) may improve its $17 billion offer as it competes with Siemens AG (SIE) to buy energy assets of power-equipment maker Alstom SA. “We’re not finished with improvements, on both sides,” Sapin said today on Europe 1 radio and i-Tele. Siemens’s offer becomes more attractive with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (7011) participating, he also said.
According to a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday, German engineering company Siemens and Japanese peer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries were close on Sunday to finalizing an offer for much of Alstom’s energy business, potentially entering a bidding war with General Electric for one of France’s industrial jewels, said people familiar with the companies’ plans. As part of the potential offer, Mitsubishi aims to buy as much as 10% of Alstom from Bouygues which holds a 29.3% stake, two of the people said. French public investment bank BPI France would buy another portion of the Bouygues stake, possibly alongside the French government, these people said. Talks were continuing late Sunday in Europe, these people said, and the final structure of the deal wasn’t set.