Siemens throws in bid for Alstom with competitive asset swap

German industrial major Siemens (NYSE: SI) is said to have put in an offer for acquisition of French conglomerate Alstom’s power segment, reports Bloomberg. According to the source, Siemens has proposed a deal which would include an offering of the company’s transport assets with an additional cash payment in exchange for Alstom’s power business.

The offer comes on the heels of reports last week of a pending offer from rival General Electric (NYSE: GE) for acquisition of Alstom’s power segment - a deal which has been valued at approximately $13 billion. While little has been confirmed publically by Alstom, GE, or Siemens the French government has been quite vocal on its concerns related to the economic impact of a possible foreign acquisition.

Heads from both GE and Siemens met with French President Francois Hollande and others today to discuss French interests and garner government support. As things stand, the French government is said to prefer an Alstom deal with Siemens, which would see less jobs cuts and position Alstom as a European transport major. However, such a deal would also face greater hurdles in gaining regulatory approval.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt appeared cautiously optimistic following his meeting with Hollande and other high ranking officials, saying "The dialogue was open, friendly and productive,” and adding that the company valued the president's perspectives and was committed to working with France.

Meanwhile, Alstom’s board is said to be favoring a deal with GE. An Alstom-GE tie-up would would face less regulatory hurdles and have fewer product and workforce overlaps than the Siemens offer, said Bloomberg.

Alstom's shares remain suspended from trading until Wednesday when the company is expected to announce how it intends to move forward on the proposed offers.

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