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Siemens Denies Lying in Wait for French Rival Alstom

Both German conglomerate Siemens and troubled French rival Alstom denied on Wednesday that Siemens was preparing a complete or partial takeover. Speculation of a deal has been rife ever since the German company made it known that it was in favor of creating strong European enterprises through mergers. However, both firms denied they were in talks, despite Siemens Chief Executive Heinrich von Pierer's admittance that he had met with French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin to discuss Alstom's plight. Von Pierer attempted to further pour cold water on the rumors by adding that his company was not pushing for any particular outcome from the talks with the French premier. "Siemens is not lying in wait. We are waiting very calmly to see what decisions will be made," von Pierer told a reporters. The French state is looking for a way to ensure Alstom's long-term future after rescuing the company from immediate collapse last year, industry and official sources told Reuters.