GE offers Alstom 50:50 alliance

US GIANT General Electric yesterday proposed an alliance with French energy firm Alstom based on 50:50 joint ventures that would ringfence sensitive nuclear activities.

It was the latest shot in a two-month-long tussle with Germany’s Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) for control of Alstom’s energy business.

GE said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with TGV-maker Alstom to strengthen its transport activities and creating an “alliance” – a term used by the French government to describe any tie-up involving the company.

Despite the new offer, GE said its overall valuation for Alstom, put at €12.4bn (£13.5bn), was unchanged.

“Our discussions with the French government over the past seven weeks have been productive. As a result, we have reached agreements with Alstom's management that will create an alliance between our companies in both spirit and practice,” said GE chief executive Jeff Immelt.

Earlier this week Siemens and MHI unveiled plans to break up Alston’s power unit as part of a joint offer. Under their offer, Siemens would pay €3.9bn for the French company’s gas turbines business while Mitsubishi said it would inject €3.1bn into Alstom.

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