GE to submit improved Alstom offer

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GeneralElectric Reuters.

Paris - General Electric will on Thursday unveil to the French government and unions an improved offer for the energy businesses of Alstom, a source close to the US conglomerate said of renewed efforts to fend off a rival proposal.

The sweetened offer would come as the Alstom board is due by Monday to announce its preference between the GE proposal and a competing offer by Germany's Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented on Tuesday.

“GE is seeing the government and the Alstom unions tomorrow,” the source close to GE said on Wednesday.

“The offer will, of course, be improved.”

A separate source close to the matter confirmed that timing and said France's government - which has given itself the right to resist any tie-up in the name of protecting French jobs and influence over a key industry - would make its view known before the decisive Alstom board meeting.

President Francois Hollande's government told both sides on Tuesday they should come up with better offers.

Siemens says its joint proposal with MHI values Alstom's power arm at 14.2 billion euros ($19.23 billion) - above GE's 12.4 billion offer.

However, whereas it involves Siemens buying just the gas turbines arm of Alstom and MHI taking minority stakes in its other power activities, the GE offer is for all Alstom's energy arm, which includes its thermal power, renewable power and grid businesses and accounts for 70 percent of its revenue.

An independent committee of industrialists is due to give its judgment on the merits of the two proposals to the Alstom board before it meets.

Both GE and Siemens-MHI on Tuesday ruled out entering a bidding war for the Alstom assets.

However a source close to GE said it was still discussing parts of the deal with the French state - notably on Alstom's rail, nuclear and renewable energy assets. - Reuters



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