GE offers €12.4bn for Alstom’s energy business

French engineering group Alstom today said it would decide by the end of next month whether to accept a €12.4 billion (£10.2bn) offer from General Electric for its energy business, leaving the door open for a rival bid from Germany’s Siemens.

France’s government, which regularly intervenes in corporate decision making, had questioned whether selling Alstom to US conglomerate GE threatens the country’s energy independence and jobs. Officials had pressed for more time to allow rival Siemens to make an offer.

Alstom described the deal with GE as “practically perfect” and said that, if it decided to accept a Siemens offer, it would be have to pay the US group company 1.5 per cent of the purchase price.