PARIS (Reuters) - French transport infrastructure group Alstom (ALSO.PA) said it was making progress on its planned tie-up with Germany’s Siemens (SIEGn.DE), as the pair fight to win over regulators concerned that the deal could stifle competition in the sector.
“The proposed combination of Alstom with Siemens Mobility, including its rail traction drive business, has progressed in the last quarter,” Alstom said on Thursday, adding that both companies had presented proposals to win over regulators.
“The proposed remedies include mainly signaling activities as well as rolling stock products and represent around four percent of the sales of the combined entity. The parties consider that the proposed remedy package is appropriate and adequate,” added Alstom.
Alstom cautioned that while there was no guarantee that the proposed package of remedies or asset sales would win over regulators, it nevertheless expected to close the Siemens deal in the first half of 2019.
In 2017, Siemens and Alstom agreed to merge their rail operations, creating a European group better able to withstand the international advance of China’s state-owned CRRC Corp Ltd (601766.SS).
In December, European antitrust commissioner Margrethe Vestager voiced her doubts over the impact that their deal would have on high-speed trains, but the French government this week urged the European Commission to approve the deal.
Sources have told Reuters that Siemens and Alstom are discussing more divestments with the European Commission in order to ensure the deal is approved.
Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Alexander Smith