Siemens says standing by should Alstom-GE talks collapse

FRANKFURT, June 22 Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:54am EDT

FRANKFURT, June 22 (Reuters) - The chief executive of Siemens said on Sunday the German engineering group was ready to resume negotiations with Alstom and the French state should they fail to agree terms with the French firm's suitor, General Electric.

"We are still open for talks. The doors are open for Alstom and the French government," CEO Joe Kaeser was quoted as saying by German tabloid Bild.

"It is not over yet," he added.

France chose GE to form an alliance with Alstom on Friday, rejecting an offer from Siemens and partner Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, but said the deal still needed some work.

The board of Alstom followed suit on Saturday and backed GE's proposal, as the French government worked on an agreement with Alstom shareholder Bouygues.

In a letter to Siemens staff obtained by Reuters, Kaeser said on Sunday he regretted that Alstom had not been open to Siemens' proposal but that Siemens could now focus on its ongoing restructuring measures to boost profitability.

"That's why we won't particularly miss the 'fight over Alstom', as our negotiations have been dramatised in the public debate," Kaeser told employees. (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Mark Potter)

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