GE’s Immelt to Meet EU Antitrust Chief Amid Alstom ReviewRichard Clough and Gaspard Sebag
General Electric Co.’s Jeffrey Immelt is set to meet with the European Union’s antitrust chief Tuesday as the U.S. company seeks approval for its acquisition of Alstom SA’s energy business.
The session in Brussels between GE’s chief executive officer and Margrethe Vestager is part of regulators’ “ongoing merger review,” Lucia Caudet, a European Commission spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
This will be the second meeting between Immelt and Vestager, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. Other GE officials have met with regulators since the 12.4 billion euro ($13.8 billion) deal with France’s Alstom was announced in 2014, the person said.
GE may get a statement of objections this month laying out the commission’s views ahead of its Aug. 6 deadline for a ruling on the transaction, people familiar with the matter said last week. The commission said in February it was concerned that dwindling competition in heavy-duty gas turbines would boost prices, and it may ask GE to revise the terms.
Immelt is scheduled to make several public appearances while in Europe this week, including a speech Tuesday at an event organized by American Chamber of Commerce to the European Union. He is also due to speak at the European Business Summit on Wednesday in Brussels, according to event’s program.
Seth Martin, a spokesman for Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE, declined to comment on talks with Vestager.
GE fell less than 1 percent to $27.27 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 7.9 percent this year, topping the
2.7 percent advance for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
The U.S. company is walking a fine line as it tries to close the deal with Levallois-Perret, France-based Alstom. GE is attempting to accommodate the commission, keep the original terms and avoid a repeat of its bid for Honeywell International Inc., which was scuttled by European regulators in 2001.
GE is the world’s largest maker of gas turbines, accounting for 51 percent of the megawatt capacity ordered in that market last year, according to data from McCoy Power Reports. Siemens AG was second with 23 percent, followed by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd.’s 13 percent and Alstom’s 7 percent.
To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.
If you believe that you may have received this message in error please let us know.