Mitsubishi Offering to Buy About 10% Alstom Stake, Nikkei Says

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., a Japanese industrial group, is offering to buy a stake of about 10 percent in Alstom SA, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

The Tokyo-based maker of nuclear power plant equipment, ships, aircraft and machinery intends for the purchase to bolster a planned bid with Siemens AG for France-based Alstom’s turbine business, the Nikkei said, without attribution. Hideo Ikuno, a Mitsubishi Heavy spokesman, declined to comment on the Nikkei report by phone.

Siemens and General Electric Co. have been competing for the backing of the French government, which is seeking to extract the best guarantees from any bidder for jobs and the country’s energy independence. GE is confident its $17 billion bid for the French company’s power assets will prove successful, Vice Chairman John Rice said at a conference last week in Singapore.

GE won’t seek a partner to counter Munich-based Siemens’ tie-up with Mitsubishi Heavy revealed on June 11, Rice said. 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.

Alstom, based in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, makes turbines and power-transmission equipment. The proposal by Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE doesn’t include the Alstom unit that builds high-speed TGV trains.