Francois Hollande urges Alstom suitors to raise their offer prices

Oliver Smith
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FRENCH President Francois Hollande raised the stakes in the battle for engineering group Alstom yesterday, telling rival suitors General Electric and Siemens to come up with better offers.

Hollande’s government has given itself the power to veto a deal on the grounds it does not want Alstom, an innovator and big employer, to sell the bulk of its business to a foreign firm without the state having a say.

It’s a crucial week for Alstom as the deadline for General Electric’s bid approaches on 23 June. Germany’s Siemens presented a joint proposal with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to Hollande earlier yesterday that it said valued Alstom’s power arm at €14.2bn (£11.3bn) – beating General Electric’s existing €12.4bn offer.

But Hollande’s government said it expected better offers from both companies.

Under the Siemens offer, Siemens would buy Alstom’s gas turbines business for €3.9bn in cash and Mitsubishi would buy stakes in various Alstom power activities.