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Siemens, Mitsubishi unveil Alstom merger plan

Germany’s Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi have given details of their formal bid for parts of French engineering giant Alstom. The joint effort is aimed at blocking a bid by the US' General Electric.

Siemens intended to offer 3.9 billion euros ($5.28 billion) to acquire 100 percent of Alstom's gas turbine activities including service related contracts,

the German engineering company announced Monday.

Siemens and Mitsubishi are scheduled to present their bid to a French parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

As part of the transaction, Siemens said it would give job guarantees for three years in France and Germany, and the European headquarters of the new division would be set up in France.

In an effort to shore up

the struggling French conglomerate

, Siemens has been joined by Japan's industrial giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

MHI intends to buy 40 per cent of Alstom's steam and nuclear business to form a joint venture with Alstom, the German company added in a statement. MHI intends to hold 20 per cent of Alstom's Grid business and 20 percent of its hydro business. MHI plans to invest 3.1 billion euros in Alstom.

The Japanese firm is also considering taking shares held by French conglomerate Bouyges in Alstom.

"This move would be a win-win solution for all related parties. Alstom would remain an independent energy and transport player with a strong brand. Its energy business would be strengthened through the partner MHI and we intend to explore opportunities with Alstom to create a European rail champion for the world market", said Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser.

Siemens latest offer is significantly lower than a previous bid by the German firm of 10.5 billion euros to 11 billion euros for Alstom's entire energy unit, with its train division included.

The joint bid is aimed at blocking a bid from the US'

General Electric (GE)

to buy Alstom's energy business. GE has offered 12.6 billion euros, but has run into

political opposition in France


The French government sees Alstom as a firm of national strategic importance and is concerned about safeguarding jobs at one of France's biggest private sector employers.

uhe/jm (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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