BERLIN – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Siemens AG have improved their offer for Alstom SA on Friday, raising the stakes in the takeover battle with General Electric Co. for the French maker of high-speed trains and power equipment.
Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy raised the cash component for Alstom by €1.2 billion ($1.63 billion) to €8.2 billion, while the valuation of Alstom’s energy assets was increased by €400 million to €14.6 billion, according to a statement sent Friday by Munich-based Siemens.
The group decided to rework its proposal after discussions with its partners to take complexity out of its bid, Siemens said. GE has also improved its offer for Alstom, as the U.S. conglomerate seeks to clinch what would be its biggest purchase yet.
Alstom has supported GE in the process, while the Siemens-group bid had been considered complex and fractured.
“After extensive discussions with all stakeholders over the past days, MHI and Siemens reviewed their proposal with regards to reducing complexity, strengthening execution and narrowing risk exposure,” Siemens said.
Semens said its side submitted a letter to Alstom on Friday to specify its proposed transaction. The company reiterated that its plan keeps Alstom largely intact and helps create jobs, as it seeks to woo the French government, which is involved in the bidding process.
On Thursday, GE broadened the scope of its $17 billion bid for Alstom’s energy assets by adding alliances in rail and nuclear technology.
GE said it agreed to sell Alstom its rail-signaling assets to create a global transport group. The two companies would also create joint ventures in power grids and renewables as well as an alliance in nuclear technology.
Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt made a direct appeal to French unions and government officials Thursday, underscoring the stakes in a deal that will give GE access to Alstom’s technology for electricity transmission and power-plant maintenance as Europe’s economy starts to recover. The acquisition would be GE’s biggest ever and bolster Immelt’s push to return the company to its industrial roots.
“We have reached agreements with Alstom’s management that will create an alliance between our companies in both spirit and practice,” Immelt said in a statement. “The alliance will retain and strengthen France’s presence in the energy business and reinforce Alstom Transport.”
GE and Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding to create a global alliance in transportation that will allow the French company to expand in North America and add freight clients, the company said. The deal includes the sale of GE’s signaling business to Alstom and agreements in services, technology, supply chain, manufacturing and commercial support.
Siemens has sought to play up its appeal with governments in France and Germany, which are keen to back the creation of leading European companies in energy and transportation.
While GE does not intend to increase the cash component, the company has been working on refinements as French political leaders seek concessions on issues such as local employment and the country’s energy independence.