June 16 General Electric wants to avoid a
bidding war with Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries over Alstom, but it is talking to
the French government about potentially changing non-price terms
of the bid, a person close to GE told Reuters.
GE is talking to the French government about jobs, bringing
in new French investors to the power unit and providing access
to nuclear steam turbine technology and some kind of deal to
strengthen the transport businesses, according to the person who
is familiar with the discussions.
The source said "there is flexibility" around those four
areas and that "the talks are ongoing."
The talks are focused on nuclear technology associated with
the French company's steam turbine business. The source said GE
would work with the French government and the industry to make
sure that Areva, the French nuclear power giant, had
access to that technology.
GE is also open to French investment for the power business
of Alstom, with those investments coming either from private or
public entities, the source added.
The talks would be looking at "the potential of some sort of
tie up" with GE's signal unit with Alstom's transport business.
GE had offered 12.4 billion euros ($16.88 billion) for all
of Alstom's energy arm, which includes its thermal power,
renewable power and grid businesses.
General Electric's bid was challenged by Germany's Siemens
and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries presented a joint offer
to France's Alstom on Monday that included 7 billion euros ($9.5
billion) in cash.
Sources familiar with the matter said the rival bid, which
was announced on Monday, would be worth over 1 billion euros
more than GE's, taking into account the value of the parts of
the power businesses that would remain under Alstom's control.
(Reporting by Christian Plumb in New York and Tasim Zahid in
Bangalore; Editing by Ken Wills)