Alstom board endorses General Electric buyout bid

Alstom board endorses General Electric buyout bid

April 30th, 2014 by Staff Reports and Wire Service in Business Around the Region

The Alstom logo is stamped onto the door of a turbine test facility inside the Alstom Power Turbines factory on Riverfront Parkway in Chattanooga on August 15, 2012.

The Alstom logo is stamped onto the door...

Photo by Alyson Wright /Times Free Press.

Alstom has agreed not to seek out alternatives to the binding, cash offer for its energy operations submitted by General Electric Co., the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday night.

Alstom's board approved GE's $12 billion-plus offer Tuesday. The Journal quoted sources saying that Alstom told GE that it would seek a fairness opinion from an outside consultant as well as from a special committee of its board, a process that could last until the end of May.

Alstom, which is based in Paris, has more than 450 employees at two Chattanooga power equipment plants on Riverfront Parkway in Chattanooga.

The French company has agreed to sign a "no go shop" clause that prevents it from seeking competing offers, the Journal said. Alstom still could review any unsolicited proposals, however.

On Monday, GE's chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt, was at the Élysée Palace, to make his case to France's president. Then, in a separate meeting afterward, the officials talked with the other suitor for Alstom, Siemens' chief, Joe Kaeser.

Under the agreement adopted Tuesday, GE would buy the Alstom assets in cash, according to the Journal.

To allay French government concerns, GE sent French President François Hollande a letter Tuesday in which the U.S. company committed to review all issues related to French national concerns with the purchase of the assets.

The Journal said if GE's bid for Alstom is successful, it would likely base the company's steam-turbine operations in France.