NEW YORK May 14 General Electric Co is
"kind of where we thought we would be" in navigating the process
of its $16.9 billion bid for the power turbine and grid business
of France's Alstom, the president of GE's power unit
said on Wednesday.
GE made its offer late last month to Alstom, which welcomed
the bid. But in an attempt to get better offers, the French
government has weighed in on the talks, creating some
Alstom has given itself until the end of the month to review
Speaking at an investor conference, Steve Bolze, president
of GE Power & Water, said: "The process we're going through is
as we expected ... You have steps you have to go through."
"We're kind of where we thought we would be," said Bolze,
speaking to a group at the Oppenheimer Industrial Growth
Conference in New York.
In an interview to be published on Thursday, French Energy
Minister Ségolène Royal told weekly magazine Paris Match that
GE's offer for the Alstom power arm is "a very good opportunity"
for the engineering group.
But Royal's comments clashed in tone with those of Economy
Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who has openly criticized an
Alstom-GE deal and instead advocated a European tie-up with
Germany's Siemens AG.
In response to a question about the French government, Bolze
said: "I've been in France the last couple days, and I'm going
back (in) the next couple of days."
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf, editing by G Crosse)