France Gives GE Go Ahead on Alstom

The French government is allowing General Electric to proceed with its acquisition of the Alstom energy business. Final approval must still come from the Alstom board of directors, which was set to meet later on Friday.

GE offered a buyout of the Alstom energy business in April.

Concerned about jobs and energy independence, the French government blocked the sale for a while, to provide time for others to bid.

During the interim, Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries emerged as rival bidders.

View of Alstom headquarters outside Paris. /AP View of Alstom headquarters outside Paris. /AP

Before gaining the endorsement of the French government, GE made concessions.

GE agreed to create three different energy businesses out of the Alstom energy arm, each as a 50/50 joint venture with Alstom.

The three joint ventures will separate the Alstom power grid business from the offshore wind and hydro-power business and put the Alstom nuclear steam turbines business into a third joint venture.

GE also agreed to protect French jobs and to maintain decision-making authority in France.

The French government will also take a 20 percent interest in Alstom valued at more than $2 billion.

VOA News / Jun. 23, 2014 08:06 KST