Francois Hollande meets General Electric over Alstom deal

General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt leaves the Elysee palace in Paris General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt leaves the Elysee palace in Paris after Monday's meeting

Related Stories

French President Francois Hollande has met the boss of General Electric's (GE) to discuss his firm's interest in buying part of engineering firm Alstom.

It follows reports the US company is preparing a deal to buy Alstom's power turbines business.

Alstom, which also makes TGV high-speed trains, is one of France's biggest private sector employers.

France's economy minister has already said the government would block any deal it sees as unfit.

"We are working to improve the offers to make sure that French companies...do not become prey," said Arnaud Montebourg, before Monday's meeting.

"On the other hand we are open to alliances that help to equip us for globalisation."

The meeting between the President and GE chief executive, Jeff Immelt comes a day after Germany's Siemens made its own approach to the French firm.

Siemens offer

President Hollande and Mr Montebourg will also meet Siemens' chief executive, Joe Kaeser, to discuss its offer for Alstom.

French newspaper Le Figaro reported on Sunday that Siemens is offering Alstom half of its train-making business and some cash.

In return Siemens wants Alstom's business that makes turbines for the energy industry, according to the report.

TGV train Alstom makes TGV high-speed trains and power turbines

The two company bosses are also due to meet with Martin Bouygues, the billionaire chairman of family conglomerate Bouygues, which is Alstom's largest shareholder with a 29.4% stake.

Alstom is one of France's biggest private-sector employers, with 18,000 staff across the country.

Its share price jumped by 11% on Thursday after reports of the interest from GE, but the firm said on Sunday night that its shares would remain suspended from trading on the Paris stock exchange until Wednesday.

The French firm has suffered from heavy debts and a fall in orders over the past decade, and was bailed out by the French government in 2004.

But Mr Montebourg has ruled out nationalising the firm if neither the Siemens nor GE offers go through.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

BBC Business Live

  1.  
    BANKER BONUSES 06:07: BBC World News
    Tom Stephenson

    Those new rules on bankers' bonuses are expected to recommend a claw-back period of seven years. Tom Stephenson from Fidelity Worldwide on BBC World News says they could have been tougher: "One of the suggestions was that bankers could be jailed for a significant fall in profits - that's quite something isn't it. Even so, being able to claw back bonuses for seven years is pretty draconian."

     
  2.  
    06:02: Matthew West Business Reporter

    Good morning folks. It's looking like a busy day today. We also have trading updates from ITV and house builder Taylor Wimpey. As always you can get in touch via email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk and on twitter @bbcbusiness

     
  3.  
    06:00: Rebecca Marston Business reporter, BBC News

    Welcome again to the Live page. We're going to be banking heavy. There's Barclays results - in about an hour - and later this morning the Bank of England will release new restrictions on bankers' bonuses, said to be the toughest in the world. We'll see.

     

Features

From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • A digger operated via an Oculus Rift and a controllerClick Watch

    Why controlling a heavy digger with a virtual reality helmet might improve safety

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.