Mitsubishi joins Siemens in Alstom bid scramble

TGV made by Alstom Alstom makes the high-speed TGV train

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Japanese engineering giant Mitsubishi has joined forces with German firm Siemens to come up with a fresh offer for France's Alstom.

The companies are squaring up against US firm General Electric, which also wants to acquire Alstom assets.

Siemens and Mitsubishi will decide on a proposal to Alstom's board by 16 June.

Both Siemens and General Electric have been courting the French government over a possible deal.

Mitsubishi chief executive Shunishi Miyanaga said the company had been "invited by Siemens to join forces and we firmly believe that we can substantially contribute to a partnership solution for Alstom which will create value for all parties involved, including the country of France".

General Electric (GE) has offered $16.9bn (£10bn) for Alstom's energy business. Reports on Wednesday suggested that Mitsubishi and Siemens may make a rival offer for the energy business.

In May, GE pledged 1,000 new jobs in bid to secure a deal with Alstom.

Break-up?

The French government, which can block foreign takeover bids for companies deemed "strategic", has made job preservation a priority at Alston, which is one of France's key industrial firms.

Some analysts believe the government will give a cool response to the latest move, fearing it would mean the break-up of Alstom.

Christopher Dembik, an analyst at Saxo Banque, said: "When you look at the offer in detail you are convinced it will mean the complete dismantlement of Alstom which the government fears.

"Such an offer has two problems: first the question of control of the nuclear activities and then we are far from the famous Franco-German energy giant," he said.

French President Francois Hollande will hold a meeting on Thursday morning to review developments on the sale, said Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg.

Alstom had to be bailed out by the French government in 2004, and has suffered heavy debts and a fall in orders over the past 10 years.

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