published Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

GE chief woos French president, seeking Alstom deal

  • photo
    General Electric Co. CEO Jeffrey R. Immelt gestures as he arrives at the Elysee Palace for a meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Wednesday, May 28, 2014.
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

PARIS — The chief executive of General Electric is promising to create jobs in France and trying to charm the French president into backing a $17 billion GE buyout of manufacturer Alstom's energy operations.

Jeffrey Immelt met with President Francois Hollande in Paris on Wednesday. Two people close to the discussions said he confirmed that the deal would involve the creation of 1,000 jobs.

They also discussed where units of the new operation would be based, the officials said, on condition of anonymity because the sensitive talks are ongoing.

Struggling Alstom welcomes the offer. The French government has been resistant to foreign takeovers as it tries to revive domestic industry. It has sought other offers for Alstom, including from GE rival Siemens.

Alstom's board is to make a decision by June 23.

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