Details of refinements being worked on by General Electric, Fairfield, Conn., in negotiations with France over GE’s proposed $17 billion acquisition of parts of French engineering and industrial manufacturing conglomerate Alstom are being sketched out by reports from various media outlets. Some highlights include guarantees on jobs, access to nuclear power technologies and a potential swap or partnership of a GE rail signaling business as part of the deal.
While GE doesn’t intend to increase the cash component of its offer, the U.S. company is willing to continue discussions with the government on several topics, including ensuring that French interests retain access to nuclear technology and a possible GE-Alstom partnership in railroad signaling, the people said. GE also is willing to make commitments for future spending on France-based operations, one person said.
The suggestion is that GE is trying to distance its offer from a rival bid assembled by Siemens, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Hitachi Ltd. unveiled on Monday. That deal would be a complicated mix of cash and assets and joint ventures that would include splitting Alstom’s turbine businesses among the involved parties.
The Siemens-Mitsubishi-Hitachi proposal values Alstom’s energy assets at €14.2 billion ($19.3 billion), topping GE’s valuation, Siemens said in a presentation in Paris. Munich, Germany-based Siemens is offering €3.9 billion for Alstom’s gas turbine business, while Japan’s Mitsubishi and partner Hitachi would pay €3.1 billion for stakes in Alstom’s steam-turbine, power-grid and hydro businesses. Mitsubishi also offered to buy as much as 10 percent of Alstom, a stake valued at about €900 million.