France, Levallois-Perret: Siemens AG stepped up plans for a bid for Alstom assets to counter General Electric Co., while ABB said it was closely following the bidding war.
Siemens plans to bid for Alstom assets, under the condition it gains the same access to financial information that GE has, according to the source familiar with the plans. Munich-based Siemens will decide on a bid after a board meeting.
Alstom has already received a binding offer from GE but has asked Siemens to send another letter with more details of its proposal before giving the German company additional information, the source said. Representatives for Siemens and Alstom declined to comment on their plans, reports Telegram.
ABB Chief Executive Ulrich Spiesshofer also declined to comment on whether ABB would enter the bidding adding it was too early to say what impact a GE or Siemens tie-up with Alstom would have on the power industry.
"This is something we are observing. We are watching the situation very closely. When we have more to say about it, we will." Mr Spiesshofer said.
Both GE and Siemens have taken steps to appease French policy-makers for a deal with Alstom. GE is arguing that its plan, to acquire the energy business while Alstom's transport unit is separated, would result in fewer job losses because of smaller operational overlaps. Siemens is willing to make guarantees about jobs and executive positions. However, it has not decided whether to bid for all or part of the French company, one person said.
The board of Alstom so far prefers GE's proposal but is also considering Siemens's offer. "None of these big players buying Alstom are going to have a smooth ride." said Simon Toennessen, an analyst at Credit Suisse Group AG. "Siemens is seeing the competitive threat from GE as big enough to consider this step."