Tuesday, 12 November, 2019

Alstom shares surge on Siemens rail tie-up

The talks for a tie-up come as all three companies are facing increased competition for contracts from industry leader CRRC Corp of China formed from a 2015 merger of the country’s two main regional train-makers Alstom shares surge on Siemens rail tie-up
Christy Curtis | 28 September, 2017, 00:17

Alstom, one of France's long-established railway and train operators, employs 32,800 people in fast train (TGV) and tramway manufacturing area. A Franco-German deal would also limit competition concerns in Germany compared with a Siemens-Bombardier tie-up - and mean fewer politically hard job cuts, the newspaper said. That seemed a very distant prospect at the height of the confrontation over the 600 million-euro Channel Tunnel tender ($703.19 million). At the time of negotiations with GE, Siemens had also been interested in a sweeping combination with Alstom, but was rejected by the French company and its owners, which also include conglomerate Bouygues SA.

The combined company will be called Siemens Alstom, and will merge only the rail operations of the two companies.

But unions in France accused the government of neglecting strategic interests. The defeat in its home nation came as a body blow to Alstom, which had been regarded as rail royalty since the original Train à Grande Vitesse snatched the world speed record from the Japanese Shinkansen in the 1980s.

The combined company, Siemens Alstom, would make systems and equipment for two of Europe's high-speed rail lines, Germany's ICE and France's TGV, which can zip between cities at about 185 m.p.h.

The French government, which owns around 20 per cent of Alstom, will ditch its stake as part of the deal.

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Siemens will receive 50% of Alstom's share capital on a fully diluted basis. Siemens becomes global number 2.

"Of course this is a large deal so no surprise it will be looked quite closely by the European Commission", he said.

The deal leaves out in the cold Canadian transportation group Bombardier, which also held talks with Siemens, sources have said, and which faces a separate battle this week to protect jobs in Quebec and Northern Ireland.

"This [merger] will give our customers around the world a more innovative and more competitive portfolio", said Siemens AG President and Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser.

French and German leaders have for years called for the creation of "European champions" such as Airbus AIR.PA to capitalize on the strengths of Europe's single market and create the scale needed to compete with USA and Asian rivals. Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Mobility, will assume an important responsibility in the merged entity, the company said.

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