France approves Alstom-GE merger

FRANCE: Alstom has obtained government approval for the proposed takeover of its power division by GE, including the creation of an offshore joint venture.

Alstom's offshore business will fall under a 50:50 JV with GE

Alstom said the council consultations has also been completed, while the French economy minister, Emmanuel Macron, has given government approval. The next major hurdle will be a shareholder vote at Alstom's AGM on 19 December.

GE successfully bid to acquire Alstom's power business in June. As part of the merger, Alstom's offshore unit will be part of a 50:50 joint venture with GE, along with the hydro division. Alstom's onshore wind business will fall under the sole control of GE.

Today's update was given as part of Alstom's first-half results. In it the company said its renewable and thermal energy divisions had been officially classified as "discontinued operations" ahead of the acquisition.

Speaking about the acquisition, Alstom's chairman and CEO Patrick Kron said the deal would still be subject to regulatory approval if it passes the shareholder vote.

"After completion of this transaction, the group will focus on its transport business with positive perspectives for sales growth and operating profit improvement," he said.

"Alstom will rely on a strong balance sheet, as a large part of the proceeds from General Electric will be used to reinforce the Group and support its development."