Siemens prepares to rival GE with bid for France's Alstom
German industrial giant Siemens is planning a rival offer for French engineering group Alstom, which is being pursued by General Electric, a source close to the deal said Saturday.
"Siemens is preparing an offer," said the source, the day before GE's chief executive is due to arrive in Paris for talks with senior government officials about its potential bid.
Shares in Alstom were suspended from trading on Friday amid press reports that GE was preparing to make a $13 billion (9.4 billion euro) takeover bid for the French engineering group's power plants, lines and renewable energy operations.
Alstom, a highly politically sensitive symbol of engineering prowess in France and an important exporter, is facing financial pressures and its shares have fallen heavily in the last year.
The rumours drew a terse response from Paris, which last week unveiled new reforms to cut its budget deficit and boost flagging French growth.
"Alstom is the symbol of our industrial power and French ingenuity," Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg was quoted as saying in the French press, referring to its main activities of building power stations and the French TGV high-speed train.
GE's chief executive Jeffrey Immelt is due to hold talks with Montebourg and Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Sunday, according to several sources.
France's government wants to obtain guarantees on "jobs, the location of activities and energy independence", said President Francois Hollande's office.
© 2014 AFP