September 27, 2017 / 9:08 AM / a year ago

Siemens CEO says picked Alstom for financial strength, CEO

Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser gestures during the annual news conference in Munich, Germany November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German industrial group Siemens chose France’s Alstom over Canada’s Bombardier for a rail joint venture because of its sound finances and its management team, Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser said on Wednesday.

“I must say I’m really glad to have won him over,” Kaeser said of Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge, who will lead the new business, helping to counter criticism that France is giving up control of another national industrial icon.

“It was a remarkable cooperation between two, obviously competitive, units,” he added on a conference call with analysts, referring to the negotiation process.

Sources had told Reuters that Siemens was close to an agreement with train and plane group Bombardier but that talks were tough due to Bombardier’s weak finances and desire to control any joint venture.

Kaeser declined to comment on any talks with Bombardier but pointed to Alstom’s strong balance sheet. “Newco is going to be a very financially strong company,” he said.

Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Christoph Steitz

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