The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

France warns Alstom against 'precipitous' deal with GE, says national interest at stake

  • Print

PARIS - France's national interest is at stake in a potential sale of engineering giant Alstom, the economy minister said Sunday, warning the company against making a hasty deal with General Electric Co.

Arnaud Montebourg said in a statement that the government wants time to examine a separate offer from German rival Siemens aimed at creating two "European champions" in transport and power engineering.

Montebourg said that "given the strategic stakes for French industry and economy, the government won't accept any precipitous decision made without taking account of alternative choices in the national interest."

The government "wants to have the time to make a serious examination of the proposals," Montebourg said.

Last week, unsourced rumours in the French media suggested that GE and Alstom were preparing to announce a tie-up as early as Monday.

Earlier Sunday, Siemens said it was prepared to discuss a tie-up with its French rival Alstom.

Siemens says it sent the Alstom board a letter "to signal its willingness to discuss future strategic opportunities," but declined to elaborate.

Montebourg said the government is "ready to examine" both GE and Siemen's proposals "with the aim of preserving the interests of France's industrial base" and said the government was "ready to take part financially" in a deal.

The move announced Sunday comes amid heated speculation that General Electric Co. is considering buying Alstom.

Shares in Alstom were halted Friday after its stock closed nearly 11 per cent higher Thursday at 27 euros.

The French government is cool to the idea of a buyout of a company that pioneered TGV high-speed trains, later exporting them around the world, and builds nuclear turbines.

Alstom and GE spokespeople declined to comment on reports in the French press that GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt was to meet with French government representatives on Sunday in Paris.

GE has long roots in France. Its French division posted 7.8 billion euros in revenue in 2011, the last year for which figures were available on the group's website. GE employees 11,000 people in France, with three main industrial centres in Belfort, Buc and Creusot. GE is also part of a 40-year-old joint venture with French defence contractor Snecma, called CFM International, which makes jet engines for airlines and militaries around the world.

___

Associated Press writer Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.

___

Follow Greg Keller on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Greg_Keller

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Tree remover has special connection to Grandma Elm

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • May 22, 2012 - 120522  - Westminster United Church photographed Tuesday May 22, 2012 .  John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
  • STDUP ‚Äì Beautiful West End  begins it's summer of bloom with boulevard s, front yards  and even back lane gardens ,  coming alive with flowers , daisies and poppies  dress up a backyard lane on Camden St near Wolseley Ave  KEN GIGLIOTTI  / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS  /  June 26 2012

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your take on a report that shows violent crime is decreasing in Winnipeg?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google