GE Plans November 2 Close on $9.3 Billion Alstom Purchaseby
Immelt is said to target Paris briefing to unveil details
Folding in energy assets will boost CEO's industrial strategy
General Electric Co. will close the 8.5 billion-euro ($9.3 billion) acquisition of Alstom SA’s energy operations next week, two people familiar with the matter said, boosting its biggest manufacturing business and ending a long and contentious pursuit.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt plans to use a briefing Thursday in Paris to reveal details for the Nov. 2 deal completion, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the specifics aren’t public. Immelt will also tour Alstom sites while in France, the people said.
The transaction marks a milestone in Immelt’s bid to return GE to its industrial roots as he sheds finance and consumer divisions and bulks up operations making products such as oilfield equipment. The purchase from Levallois-Perret, France-based Alstom will expand GE Power & Water, already the company’s biggest manufacturing unit and the world’s No. 1 gas-turbine maker.
GE tussled with politicians, regulators and competitors after offering to buy Alstom’s gas-turbine assets last year. At 12.4 billion euros, the deal was to be GE’s largest ever before subsequent tweaks to the structure and terms reduced the value. The final accord includes creating joint ventures in the steam turbine, renewable energy and electrical-transmission businesses.
Immelt traveled abroad frequently in support of the deal, initially to appeal to French politicians and later to woo European Union regulators concerned that the tie-up would crimp competition and raise gas-turbine prices. European and U.S. authorities approved the sale last month after GE pledged to divest some assets to Italy’s Ansaldo Energia SpA.
Dominic McMullan, a GE spokesman, declined to comment on the company’s Alstom plans.