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[June 22, 2014]
Alstom board backs General Electric's bid [Times of Oman]
(Times of Oman Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Paris: The board of directors of French power-to-rail group Alstom on Sunday unanimously approved United States conglomerate General Electric's (GE) €12.35 billion ($16.8 billion) bid to acquire its energy business.
"The board of directors unanimously decided to issue a favourable opinion of GE's offer" and will begin consultations with personnel, a statement said.
The statement came a day after the French government stepped firmly into the battle over its industrial jewel Alstom, saying it favoured General Electric's bid over a rival joint offer from Germany's Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
GE boss Jeff Immelt hailed the deal, saying it was "good for France, GE and Alstom" while adding that it would not be finalised before next year.
His counterpart at Alstom, Patrick Kron called it a win-win-win situation, good for Alstom employees as well as GE and the French state. The plan "seems to respond fully to the government's preoccupations of the government on energy and transport," he said in comments published yesterday in the weekly Journal du Dimanche. Surprise caveat Kron added that he would see the General Electric transition was successfully 'on the rails' before bowing out and letting a new team take charge at Alstom.
The French government announced a surprise caveat that it would take a 20 per cent controlling stake to preserve French strategic interests in its industrial jewel, which it plans to do by purchasing two-thirds of the shares owned by another French group, Bouygues. Discussions on the price were ongoing between the government and Bouygues on Saturday night.
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