MHI shares dip on Alstom news

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IOL pic jun4 yellow green market arrows . File photo: Filomena Scalise

Tokyo - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries’ shares fell on Tuesday as investors reacted with disappointment to the Japanese firm's joint bid with Siemens for the energy assets of French giant Alstom.

The company's Tokyo-listed shares sank 1.42 percent to finish at 621 yen ($6.10), after losing 3.66 percent the previous day before the formal announcement was made. The broader Nikkei index rose 0.29 percent.

Siemens said late on Monday it would offer 3.9 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in cash for Alstom's gas business, while MHI would pay 3.1 billion euros for 10 percent of a vast firm seen as a national treasure in France.

The Japanese industrial giant said it would create three joint ventures by acquiring 40 percent of Alstom's nuclear business and 20 percent each of its grid and hydroelectric business.

Siemens' bid was significantly less than a tentative offer reportedly made in April: a bid of 10.5-11 billion euros for Alstom's energy unit, with its train division in the mix.

Alstom's energy unit, which builds generators, turbines and transmission systems, accounts for 70 percent of its business.

Siemens announced last week that it was joining forces with MHI to launch a rival offer to a $17-billion bid by US giant General Electric.

GE on Monday said it would not engage in a “bidding war” and that it was “confident” that its deal proposal for Alstom “is good for Alstom, for France and GE”.

Alstom said the German-Japanese offer will be reviewed by a committee of independent directors and submitted to Alstom's board in the coming days.

While Alstom itself has repeatedly said it favours GE's bid, the US company's offer has run into political opposition in France.

The French government views Alstom as a firm of national strategic importance and is concerned about safeguarding jobs as it battles record unemployment and declining industrial competitiveness. - AFP

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