France cannot back GE's current offer for Alstom assets- min

PARIS Mon May 5, 2014 1:57pm EDT

PARIS May 5 (Reuters) - The French government cannot give its backing to General Electric's bid for Alstom's energy assets in its current form, the industry ministry said in a letter to GE CEO Jeff Immelt on Monday.

Alstom said last week it was reviewing a binding $16.9 billion bid from the U.S. conglomerate for its energy arm, though it has also left the door open to a rival offer from Germany's Siemens.

"In its current form, we unfortunately cannot give backing to the proposals that you have made based solely on the purchase of Alstom's energy activities," Montebourg wrote in the letter, obtained by Reuters. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas)

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