PARIS April 27 German engineering group Siemens
is offering Alstom half of its train-making
business plus cash in exchange for its French rival's power
turbines division, Le Figaro newspaper reported on Sunday.
Le Figaro said it had seen the contents of a letter - the
existence of which was announced by Siemens earlier on Sunday -
in which the German company offered a potential alternative to
the deal U.S. company General Electric was preparing to
negotiate with Alstom.
The Siemens deal outlined by Le Figaro has similarities to
past plans to combine the businesses. The paper said the offer
was informal, but detailed, and included a proposal for Alstom -
maker of TGV high-speed trains - to take on Siemens' high-speed
trains and locomotives arm, but not its metropolitan trains
division. Le Figaro gave no details of the cash part of the
Earlier on Sunday, Siemens said its letter was a signal of
its "willingness to discuss future strategic opportunities" with
Alstom - only hours before GE boss Jeff Immelt was due in Paris
to thrash out a deal to buy Alstom's global power arm.
A spokeswoman for Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg
subsequently said Immelt's meeting had been postponed "for a few
The French government wants to find alternatives to the GE
offer, which sources said puts a value of $13 billion on the
turbines and power grid equipment business and could be
announced in days.
Montebourg said in Sunday the GE deal was "a purchase of the
energy part of Alstom" while the Siemens deal was a deal to
"create two European champions in the energy and transport
domains," but added he "will not accept" any hasty decision.
Siemens declined to comment on the report. Alstom has
declined to comment on the Siemens announcement and a
spokeswoman could not confirm the details in the report.
(Reporting by Andrew Callus in Paris and Maria Sheahan in
Frankfurt; Editing by Sophie Walker)