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Siemens to make offer in battle for France’s Alstom

PTI Berlin | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on April 30, 2014

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German engineering giant Siemens said on Wednesday it had decided to make an offer to France’s Alstom, heating up a politically sensitive battle for what has been termed a French “national jewel”.

In a highly anticipated but brief statement, Siemens gave no details of its intended bid that would aim to thwart interest in Alstom by US group General Electric.

But the German behemoth said it was conditional on it being granted access to the French company’s books and the green light to quiz its management.

“The prerequisite for this offer is that Alstom agrees to give Siemens access to the company’s data room and permission to interview the management during a period of four weeks, to enable Siemens to carry out a suitable due diligence,” it said.

“A letter in this regard was submitted this afternoon to the French company,” it added.

Pipping Siemens to the post, French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg earlier told parliament that the German company was in the throes of putting forward an offer.

“An offer by German company Siemens is being presented,” he told the National Assembly of lawmakers.

The fate of Alstom was suddenly put into play last week when it emerged that GE was in advanced talks to buy its energy interests for about $14 billion.

According to a preliminary proposal sent this weekend to Alstom, seen by AFP but not confirmed by the German company, Siemens offered to buy Alstom’s energy business and give the French giant part of its train activities in return.

The French minister also reproached the head of Alstom, Patrick Kron, in strong terms for not informing the Government of takeover talks with the US group, accusing him of deliberately keeping him in the dark.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that Alstom was “of national strategic importance” and stressed the Government would keep a watchful eye over offers.

Published on April 30, 2014
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