The fate of Alstom, one of France’s largest private-sector employees, now hangs on frantic negotiations over two rival bids for the cash-strapped French engineering group’s energy division, which represents 70% of its activities. After weeks of secret negotiations between Alstom and US conglomerate General Electric, their German competitor Siemens stepped in with its own offer at the weekend. Siemens’ bid, offering a swap of energy and transport arms, has been welcomed by the French government, with its economy minister talking up the creation of "two European and global champions in the energy and transport domains" as it faces major political embarrassment over the amputation of a giant of French industry. Mediapart's business and financial affairs correspondent Martine Orange charts the background to Alstom’s decline, and details why the social and industrial consequences for France will be serious whichever deal is accepted.
The French president and his economy minister are holding talks with the US and German groups over rival bids for Alstom's energy arm.
France's economy minister says Siemens bid for the troubled French engineering firm would create “two European champions”.
Siemens is reportedly mulling an offer for the troubled French firm, just as General Electric's CEO travels to Paris for talks on its own bid.
President meets 30 top executives for talks on business climate after France suffered a 77 percent drop in foreign direct investment last year.