France Okays General Electric / Alstom Energy Deal For 2015

Just over six months ago, General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) bid for the French power and transportation company but the deal needed to be reviewed as it was in a strategic sector. The economic minister, Emmanuel Macron, said in the statement, “that the interests of the state, the continuation of the nuclear industry and France’s energy security have been fully taken into account.”

Nearly done, sometime in mid-2015

Macron’s predecessor, Arnaud Montebourg, was at the helm of the ministry when a law was passed that called for governmental clearance of all deals with foreign companies in certain sectors. The announcement came the day after the deal was approved by Alstom SA (EPA:ALO)’s board and now simply awaits a shareholder vote on December 19th which is expected to pass without issue. There is also the matter of antitrust agencies in 20 countries, but that is not expected to be a problem.

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General Electric continues to build its portfolio outside the United States and now sees more than half of its revenue created outside its home country and with the approved deal, Steve Bolze, president of GE Power & Water, said “we’ll be bigger in Europe and bigger all over the world,” after the minister’s statement.

Alstom and its trains

Alstom SA (EPA:ALO) will keep its name and continue to manufacture its TGV high-speed trains but will do so as a stand-alone company and will receive General Electric’s rail signaling holdings in addition to the cash that made the deal a reality.

Former economic minister, Arnaud Montebourg, was not a huge fan of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) and encouraged both Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (ADR) (NYSE:MTU) and Siemens AG (ADR) (OTCMKTS:SIEGY) (ETR:SIE) to make a competing bid when General Electric made a bid for the company he called one of the “crown jewels of French industry.”

At the risk of alienating the former minister, Steve Bolze, president of GE Power & Water, said “We’ve worked with both of them very productively,” when asked whether the current minister was easier to work with than Mr. Montebourg.