GE bid approved by Alstom board

FRANCE: Alstom's board has voted unanimously to accept GE's offer to buy Alstom Energy for EUR 12.35 billion, with GE and Alstom retaining an equal share of the wind and hydro business.

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Under the deal, GE will acquire the thermal, grid and renewable energy divisions, with joint ventures being established in the latter two sectors.

As previously reported, Alstom will receive GE's signalling business as part of the deal, which is now subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

In the run-up to the deal, the French government was given the option to buy 20% of Alstom from construction group Bouygues.

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

The renewable energy JV will 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".

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