General Electric Co., locked in a tussle with Siemens AG to acquire Alstom SA’s energy business, won’t seek a partner to counter the German company’s planned joint bid with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
The U.S. manufacturer is confident its $17 billion bid for the French company’s power assets will prove successful, GE Vice Chairman John Rice said at a conference in Singapore.
“We don’t think we need a partner in the context of our bid,” Rice said. “We feel really good about the way the process is working, and interactions that we had with the government.”
GE, based in Fairfield, Connecticut, has been seeking to emphasize European credentials of its bid since Munich-based Siemens revealed the tie-up with Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy on June 11. The Siemens plan, which also involves Hitachi Ltd. teaming up with Mitsubishi, is partly intended to assuage concerns of legislators and antitrust authorities, people familiar with the discussions said that day. The consortium has said it will make an offer by June 16.
GE has responded by increasing efforts to lobby French officials, sending Steve Bolze, chief executive officer of GE’s power and water unit, and John Flannery, the company’s lead negotiator, to France for discussions this week and next, according to a person familiar with the talks.
Alstom, based in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, makes turbines and power-transmission equipment. GE’s proposal doesn’t include the Alstom unit that builds high-speed TGV trains.