UPDATE 2-GE says not in talks with Toshiba about Alstom grid unit

Thu May 8, 2014 4:07pm EDT

(Adds Les Echos report in last paragraph)

May 8 (Reuters) - General Electric, which wants to buy Alstom's energy business, is not in talks with Japanese conglomerate Toshiba Corp about the French company's power grid unit, a GE France spokesman said on Thursday.

The Nikkei business daily said Toshiba would offer to buy Alstom's power grid equipment unit if GE purchased the French firm's energy businesses.

"GE is not in any discussions with Toshiba," the GE France spokesman said. "If our offer to Alstom is approved, we have no intention of selling the grid business."

Earlier on Thursday a Toshiba spokesman said: "We are always considering M&A options to forward our business, and we can't deny the possibility of something happening in this area, but in regard to Alstom there is nothing concrete."

Alstom said last week it was reviewing a binding $16.9 billion offer from GE for its energy business.

Analysts have said the acquisition would give GE a substantially bigger foothold in the power grid equipment sector.

Alstom's power arm also includes steam turbines and hydropower products, which GE has said would be complementary to its existing power division and would allow it to offer a more complete product set to customers.

Earlier this week, French President Francois Hollande said GE's bid was not acceptable as it stands and that the government's aim was to get better offers.

The government could ask French nuclear group Areva to take on Alstom's offshore wind energy unit should the GE deal go through, Les Echos newspaper reported on its website. (Reporting by Blaise Robinson in Paris and Lewis Krauskopf in New York; Editing by James Regan, Paul Simao and Jane Baird)