GE Extends Alstom Deadline, France Seeks Better Bid

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May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg’s Matt Campbell reports on General Electric extending the deadline for its offer to purchase Alstom as the French government searches for a better deal for the company. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “In The Loop.”

This is more time for the french government to essentially try to insert itself into these negotiations between alstom and ge and to give siemens, which is a rival bidder more time to work on its own bid, which some very prominent french politicians have said they would prefer.

It is important not to ascribe too much importance to the role of the french government here.

Obviously, they have the bully pulpit.

Their pronouncements are reported by the press dutifully, but at the end of the day, alstom is a private company, and at the end of the day will make the decision that they feel is best.

It is a game of public perception and political brinkmanship going on around the deal and the result is it will take a while to get done.

How serious is siemens?

That is a very good question.

This certainly started out as seeming a bit half-baked, the notion of a siemens counterbid.

One thing to point out is that is actually an asset swap that would result in alstom becoming a much bigger rail manufacturer and siemens taking on a bulk of the energy assets.

As for the termination of the french government to throw a wrench into this deal, has become more clear, the siemens bid has gathered steam.

The siemens chief executive has started to sound more definitive about this.

There is no question, ge is farther along.

This is the gog conceived of and executed in advance of siemens getting involved, so this is not a straight up battle between two equally matched rivals.

French politics is very colorful, let's say.

Talk about the political context that ge is playing in.

It is no secret france can be a tough place to do business, particularly a top listed do business for american companies trying to make big acquisitions but once again, i do not want to overstate the role of the french government.

We had a not too dissimilar situation a while ago with vivendi who were looking to sell their mobile phone unit, two bidders, one of which was very much favored by the government, the other which the government made clear and did not like and vivendi went with the bitter that the government did not want them to go with.

Clearly a private french company can spurn the government if they so choose.

There is a slight wrinkle in alstom doing so.

Alstom basically makes trains and power turbines.

In france, who buys trains?

The state owned railways.

Who buys power turbines?

The state owned utility, so the government does have leverage here.

Thank you so much.

Let's stay overseas because the

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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