Alstom fielding purchase offers from General Electric, Siemens

Both General Electric (GE) and Siemens are interested in taking over Alstom SA’s power business, but details — reported by sources including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Forbes — of the two proposed transactions have not been released.

On April 28, French President Francois Hollande met with Jeff Immelt, president and chief executive officer of GE, based in the USA, to discuss the company’s interest in buying part of Alstom. He also met with Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser and Chairman Gerhard Cromme.

Just a day before, on April 27, Siemens of Germany approached Alstom. Siemens is reported to be interested in the portion of Alstom’s business that makes turbines for the energy industry, including hydropower. These assets generate more than 70% of Alstom’s sales.

Alstom is one of France’s largest private sector employers, with 18,000 staff. The company has a market value of about 8.3 billion euros (US$11.5 billion).

The company reportedly has set an April 30 deadline to make a decision. An offer from GE is reportedly already on the table, but Siemens is waiting to gain the same access to financial information that GE has. Siemens allegedly does not have to make a binding over this week. The company reportedly will decide on a bid after a board meeting set for today.

France’s economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, has said the government will block any deal it sees as unfit.

Just a few minutes before this story was posted, the Wall Street Journal reported Alstom had accepted a $12 billion offer from GE, but this information is unconfirmed.