Alstom accepts 10 billion euro GE bid for its energy unit
By Matthieu Protard and Maria Sheahan
PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The board of Alstom (ALSO.PA: Quote) accepted General Electric's (GE.N: Quote) 10 billion euro ($13.82 billion) bid for its energy unit on Tuesday, several sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.
Sources said GE is not in exclusive talks with Alstom. The French transport-to-turbines group is also set to receive an offer from its much larger German competitor Siemens AG (SIEGn.DE: Quote), which said it had sent a letter to Alstom after its managing and supervisory boards had decided to make an offer.
Alstom is expected to make a statement about the two offers early on Wednesday, before its shares, suspended since late last week, resume trading.
The rival bids have triggered a fierce national debate about the fate of power turbine and train manufacturing in France - both integral to the country's engineering pedigree. The French government has said it favors the Siemens offer, which via an asset swap would create two European sector champions: Siemens in electricity and Alstom in trains.
"Alstom's board has accepted the GE offer, it will be examined by an independent committee," one source close to the talks told Reuters.
"The two groups will not enter into exclusive negotiations. This means Alstom cannot go and look for other offers, but there is nothing to stop it from examining offers it receives without soliciting them," the source added.
Earlier on Tuesday, Germany's Siemens (SIEGn.DE: Quote) said it would make an offer to Alstom if given four weeks to examine its books and draw up a detailed plan to rival a move by GE.
"The prerequisite 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," Siemens said. Continued...