PARIS Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is considering taking a direct stake in French engineering group Alstom as part of an offer with Germany's Siemens, two French newspapers said on Thursday.
Financial daily Les Echos said Mitsubishi is considering buying part of French Bouygues's 29 percent stake in Alstom and would also buy Alstom's steam turbines while Siemens would take over its gas turbines.
At a later stage, after an expected offer for Alstom on June 16, Siemens would contribute its transport assets to Alstom, which would remain a listed company with activities in power grids, wind turbines and transports, les Echos wrote.
Le Figaro said Mitsubishi would propose an alliance with Alstom modeled on the Renault-Nissan alliance, which would involve Mitsubishi taking a minority stake in Alstom's power activities (excluding grids) or even buying part of Bouygues's stake. The paper said Siemens would propose to buy Alstom's gas turbines unit and give Alstom its rail transport business.
French ministers met on Thursday to discuss Alstom's fate as Siemens and Mitsubishi are considering a joint offer to beat a bid by U.S. conglomerate General Electric.
(Reporting by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans)