Mitsubishi offers to buy 10pc stake in Alstom: report

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Mitsubishi and Siemens are reportedly offering $10b for Alstom’s gas and steam turbine business.

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is offering to buy a 10 percent stake in Alstom, a report said Sunday, as it seeks to sweeten a joint bid with Siemens to acquire some of the French firm s energy assets.

Mitsubishi s offer comes as it tries to convince the French government to choose the German-Japanese bid for Alstom s assets over a rival offer from General Electric, the Nikkei business daily said, without citing sources.

Mitsubishi and Siemens are reportedly offering $10 billion for Alstom s gas and steam turbine business, while the United States  GE has offered $17 billion for the French conglomerate s wider energy group.

A source told AFP on Thursday that Mitsubishi is now eyeing a minority stake in Alstom as it looks to reassure the French government of its intentions by forging a broader industrial alliance with the French “national jewel”.

Mitsubishi s planned capital injection marks an attempt to sweeten its offer to ensure its joint bid with the German giant is accepted, the Nikkei said.

The French government views Alstom as a firm of national strategic importance and is concerned about safeguarding jobs at the company — one of France s biggest private sector employers, with about 18,000 staff nationwide — as it battles record unemployment and declining industrial competitiveness.

The German-Japanese joint offer could scupper GE s bid, which has already run into political opposition in France.

France is worried that Alstom s business base may weaken should its energy assets be bought by foreign firms.

A Mitsubishi spokesman could not immediately confirm the Nikkei report. “We cannot comment on it as we are still in negotiations,” he said.

2014-06-16

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