STRUGGLING French engineering giant Alstom is considering a “binding” €12.35bn cash offer for its energy business from General Electric - but it has not completely closed the door on a rival offer from Siemens.
A final decision will be made on June 2, the company said.
Shares in Alstom were suspended since last week, but trading started again following today’s announcement - and had jumped 12% by 9am.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls voiced his approval at Alstom’s announcement. Following the French government’s intervention in GE’s bid earlier in the week, he said that the French firm’s decision to consider a rival bid from Siemens meant that “the French State has been heard”.
He said: “The sharp acceleration in recent days was not acceptable.”
AFP reported that Alstom’s CEO Patrick Kron has acknowledged that “the State will have its say” in any deal.
“Alstom would use the sale proceeds to strengthen its transport business and give it the means of an ambitious development, pay down its debt and return cash to its shareholders," Alstom said in a statement.
Alstom said its board had also reviewed a declaration of interest from Siemens on an alternative deal and that the German company would have access to information needed to make a binding offer.
In a letter to the French government, GE promised to recruit more staff in France, and was ready to consider any acquisition proposal from French investors for offshore and onshore wind Alstom activities.
"We are committed to working with the state, Areva and EDF to protect the nuclear sector," wrote Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric.