Siemens and Mitsubishi challenge GE with Alstom offer
By Jens Hack and Natalie Huet
MUNICH/PARIS (Reuters) - Germany's Siemens and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented a joint offer to France's Alstom on Monday that included 7 billion euros ($9.5 billion) in cash, challenging a bid by General Electric.
Under the deal, Siemens offered to buy Alstom's gas turbines business for 3.9 billion euros in cash, and MHI to buy stakes in Alstom power assets including hydroelectric power equipment and grid, to be held in separate joint ventures.
MHI would inject 3.1 billion euros in cash into Alstom and offer to take a stake of up to 10 percent in the French firm from shareholder Bouygues BOUY.PA.
"Alstom would remain an independent energy and transport player with a strong brand," Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser said. "Its energy business would be strengthened through the partner MHI and we intend to explore opportunities with Alstom to create a European rail champion for the world market."
Alstom said it would review the proposal in the coming days.
Sources familiar with the matter said the offer would be worth over 1 billion euros more than GE's, taking into account the value of the parts of the power businesses that would remain under Alstom's control.
Mitsubishi would like to buy the Alstom stake alongside the French government but would not walk away from the deal if Bouygues was unwilling to sell, the sources said, adding that Bouygues would be contacted very soon.
GE GE.N said it had made progress in its discussions with the French government on its offer for Alstom's energy business, which included "proposing alliances in energy and transport". A spokeswoman said GE would not however be drawn into a bidding war. Continued...