Alstom: France gets new takeover veto rights

Alstom workers Alstom has said it will decide by the end of May which bidder it prefers

Related Stories

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has signed a decree giving the government new powers to block foreign takeover bids for companies deemed "strategic".

The move comes as US firm General Electric (GE) and Germany's Siemens vie to take control of French engineering group Alstom's power business.

Any such takeover will now need approval from Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg.

Mr Montebourg is known to favour the Siemens approach over the GE bid.

In a statement, he said the government's new powers of veto would be "applied in a selective and proportional manner, taking each situation into consideration".

Until now, the French government's power to intervene was confined to deals concerning defence and security matters. The decree extends this to the energy, water, transport, health and communications sectors.

Power play

Last week, Alstom reported a 28% drop in full-year net profit to 556m euros ($774m; £456m).

The company blamed the fall on restructuring costs, asset writedowns and tough economic conditions.

Alstom is currently considering a $16.9bn offer from GE for its energy business, but Siemens has also shown interest in the unit.

The French firm has said it will decide by the end of May which bidder it prefers.

The power business accounts for about 70% of Alstom's total revenue, and if a deal went through, it would leave the company as a transport business. Alstom's transport unit makes TGV high-speed trains and signalling equipment.

Both GE and Siemens have already met French President Francois Hollande to discuss their potential offers.

The French government has opposed GE's offer.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • Courtyard of the Indian hospiceJerusalem lodge

    The retreat that has hosted Indian pilgrims since the Crusades


  • A Pakistan health worker gives polio vaccine drops to a child in Peshawar, 2012Dropping out

    Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children against polio


  • Spong Togpo glacial lakeIn pictures

    The dangerous beauty of the Himalayas


  • Actress Diane Guerrero.Home alone

    My family was deported while I was at school


From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • A computer generated of image of a robotic probe issued by Lunar MissionClick Watch

    Scientists seek crowdfunding to send probe to the Moon, plus other technology news

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.