- General Electric Co. finally completed its long-pending $17 billion purchase of Alstom’s gas turbine operations and formation of joint ventures with Alstom’s steam turbine, renewable energy and electrical-transmission businesses.
- The two factors allowing GE to win its bidding war with Siemens AG for Alstom were GE turning over its rail-signaling operations to Alstom for $825 million, and convincing shareholder Bouygues SA to sell as much as 20% of its ownership in Alstom to the French government.
- French law permits state intervention to block acquisitions of companies deemed to be of national importance. The Hollande government was blocking completion of the Alstom transaction with GE until it was assured of 20% voting rights and the appointment of two government-named board members.
This is the largest acquisition in GE's history.
Alstom built the French electricity grid and makes its high-speed trains and the turbines that generate most of its electricity. The deal will bolster Alstom’s train, metro and signaling business, pay down debt, return cash to shareholders, and allow a 2.5 billion euro joint venture with GE in steam turbines, renewables and transmission equipment.
Bouygues owns 29% of Alstom, valued at 34 euros per share, but France will pay an adjusted 35 euros per share for 20% of that. GE also improved its offer to the government by proposing nuclear technology and rail partnerships and promising to create 1,000 French jobs.