GE’s apparently successful takeover of key segments of Alstom’s prized energy business raised eyebrows when many thought German energy giant Siemens would prevail. Siemens’ unwillingness to part with its train signaling business – a critical concession made by GE – is reportedly one aspect of the deal that tipped negotiations in GE’s favor.
Interestingly, the French government steeped in to buy roughly 20% of Alstom’s stock due to the company’s strategic importance as a French industrial champion. Now GE and Paris are essentially partners in the new Alstom tie up.
The move also gives GE a strong foothold in the European natural gas turbine market and puts the US firm even more directly in competition with Siemens.
“France is conducting ice-cold national industrial policy,” said Peter Ramsauer, chairman of the German Parliament’s economics committee and a key ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel. – As reported by the Wall Street Journal
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