Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Germany’s Siemens are to bid nearly $10 billion to snap up some energy assets owned by French “national jewel” Alstom, a report said Thursday.
Japan’s leading Nikkei business daily said that the joint offer of one trillion yen, which could also include electronics and machinery maker Hitachi, in what could stymie General Electric’s $17 billion offer for Alstom’s energy business.
The smaller bid price was tied to the Japanese-German group’s plan to buy just Alstom’s gas and steam turbine business rather the wider energy group eyed by GE, the Nikkei said.
The report, which did not cite sources, came after Siemens and Mitsubishi announced Wednesday that they have “joined forces in evaluating a potential proposal for certain assets of the French multinational conglomerate Alstom”.
They said a decision on whether to submit an offer would be made by June 16.
In an apparent response to the Nikkei report, Mitsubishi issued another statement on Thursday that said no final decision had been made as it was still studying the possible deal, including an offering price and other details.
The firm’s Tokyo-listed shares rose 1.24 percent to 648 yen in morning trade.
A spokesman for Hitachi said it was aware that Mitsubishi and Siemens were considering joining forces to bid for the Alstom assets.
Hitachi was “not in a position to make a comment” on the Nikkei report, he said, adding that the firm would “continue to cooperate with Mitsubishi Heavy as a partner in the thermal power business”.
GE has run into opposition from French nationalists over its offer to buy the French company’s energy unit, which builds generators, turbines and transmission systems and would complement the US-based firm’s own power industry division.
The unit accounts for 70 percent of Alstom’s business, and would leave behind the railway equipment division that manufactures France’s prized TGV high-speed trains.
Alstom is one of France’s biggest private sector employers with about 18,000 staff nationwide.
Last month the French government passed a new law that would allow it to veto unwanted foreign takeovers of major French companies, including the GE-Alstom deal.