PARIS – General Electric Co., which is working to refine its offer for Alstom SA’s energy assets, will present new terms on Thursday as it seeks to thwart a counter bid by Siemens AG, said two people familiar with the matter.
GE is in talks with France to give more guarantees on jobs, planned investments and access to nuclear technology ahead of a June 23 offer deadline, people familiar with the matter said Tuesday, asking not to be named as the matter is private. The U.S. company doesn’t plan to raise the cash component of its offer, the people said.
The offer by Germany’s Siemens, which aims to carve up Alstom together with Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Hitachi Ltd., values the energy assets at 14.2 billion euros ($19.3 billion), compared with GE’s 12.35 billion-euro valuation for those operations.
GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt unveiled his bid seven weeks ago as he tries to expand in Europe and win business from Munich-based Siemens, the region’s biggest engineering company. France’s role is pivotal as political leaders seek concessions on issues such as local employment and the country’s energy independence.
Steve Bolze, CEO of GE’s power and water unit, and the lead negotiator, John Flannery, are in France for meetings this week, one person said.
GE’s team “had good, constructive meetings with the French government again,” the Fairfield, Conn.-based company said Tuesday in an emailed statement. “We are making progress and are very confident in our proposal.”
Alstom’s board has given preliminary approval to GE’s bid. The French company said it would consider other offers before the June 23 deadline, and Siemens unveiled details of a joint bid with Mitsubishi Heavy for Alstom’s energy operations on June 16.
Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser told France’s National Assembly Tuesday that the Munich-based company would also safeguard jobs and local investments.