GE's revised Alstom bid creates offshore wind JV

FRANCE: GE has revised its bid for Alstom in a move that would involve the creation of a joint venture (JV) that would take in Alstom's offshore wind business.

Alstom Haliade turbine would be the main product for a GE-Alstom joint venture
Alstom Haliade turbine would be the main product for a GE-Alstom joint venture

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The announcement comes as GE makes the last push to get its EUR 12.35 billion offer for the French firm's power business accepted, with chief executive Jerry Immelt having met with the French government on Thursday in order to find common ground.

In leaving parts of the business in French hands, this move would seem to meet one of the key demands from the government, which has given itself new powers to be able to veto any takeover.

The deal would create two new 50:50 JVs, with one based on Alstom's offshore wind and hydro businesses, and the other formed from a merger between GE and Alstom's grid businesses.

The renewable energy JV would be based in France, but seemingly would not include Alstom's onshore wind division.

A move into offshore wind through the creation of a JV would be an about face for GE, which in recent times has been vocal in its stance against a move into the offshore market, with vice president for renewables Anne McEntee saying it "does not make economic sense".

A number of other concessions are made in the new offer, with the French government being handed a minority stake in the nuclear and steam businesses. The deal would also see GE sell its rail signalling business to Alstom in order to bolster the French firm's transport division.

Siemens and Mitsubushi Heavy Industries put forward a competing bid this week which would also leave large parts of the company in French hands. The EUR 7 million bid would leave the wind division untouched.

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