French President Says GE Bid For Alstom Is ‘Not Acceptable’

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The French government has shown opposition to GE's $17 billion offer to acquire the energy business of France-based Alstom and indicated that it wants to further explore a separate proposal from Siemens.

According to a Bloomberg report, French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg sent a letter to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt saying that the government would back an agreement that was ‘a balanced partnership’ rather than a full acquisition. Montebourg also requested that U.S.-based GE prove that it plans to generate jobs through the deal. "Unfortunately, we can't subscribe to your current proposals," the letter said.

Furthermore, French President Francois Hollande has indicated his opposition to the bid. Bloomberg cites a radio interview during which the president said, "It's not sufficient, so it's not acceptable." He also pointed to a separate proposal from Siemens. "There is another offer, and we will see if it will be a better one."

According to Bloomberg, Germany-based Siemens has offered to exchange its rail assets for Alstom's energy business – a proposition Montebourg said he would prefer. Prior to making a formal offer, Siemens has requested that Alstom give it access to the French company's books.

The full Bloomberg report is available here.

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