March 17, 2015 / 11:39 AM / 3 years ago

Siemens CEO plays down idea of rail venture with Alstom

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - German industrial group Siemens (SIEGn.DE) is not discussing a joint venture in trains with French peer Alstom (ALSO.PA), its chief executive Joe Kaeser said.

Joe Kaeser, chief executive of German industrial group Siemens, speaks during the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm el-Sheikh, in the South Sinai governorate, south of Cairo, March 14, 2015. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Kaeser had told French daily Le Figaro earlier this month that a consolidation between European transport companies was still possible.

Asked on Tuesday whether there were any talks with Alstom, Kaeser told Reuters on the fringes of a management conference in Munich: “There haven’t been any for a year. And so there are no grounds for speculation.”

Siemens lost out to arch-rival General Electric (GE.N) in a battle to buy Alstom’s energy assets last year. It had hoped for a while afterwards to combine its rail assets, which include trains, trams and signaling technology, with those of Alstom.

Since then, the rail industry has continued to consolidate in the face of increasingly fierce competition.

China’s CNR and rival CSR Corp (601766.SS) (1766.HK) plan to merge to create a $26 billion company, the world’s largest trainmaker by sales thanks to its domestic market, which is looking to export markets for its high-speed trains.

And last month, Italian aerospace and defense group Finmeccanica SIFI.MI agreed to sell its rail business to Hitachi Ltd (6501.T) in a deal worth up to 1.9 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

Asked whether consolidation would continue, Kaeser replied: “I can’t say. We are very strongly positioned ... I believe we have all the possibilities to be successful by ourselves. We must of course execute cleanly.”

Editing by David Holmes

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