GE to meet EC objections over proposed Alstom SA takeover

General Electric Company could face a list of objections from the European Commission (EC) over its acquisition of Alstom SA's energy segment announced last year, Bloomberg reported.

The company plans to meet objections regarding particular issues.

The EC last month announced an extension in its investigation over concerns the takeover would see an increase in gas turbine prices.

The French government has already approved the $15.6-billion acquisition of Alstom,  one of the country's largest industrial conglomerates, even though in 2010 it had blocked GE's proposal to buy French nuclear giant Areva's power grid equipment unit in favor of Schneider Electric.

However, the French government approval for the the deal came only after GE revised its offer to buy not the whole of Alstom's power and grid businesses, but only its gas turbine and steam turbine businesses outside France.

The remaining part of Alstom's power business and its entire grid business will be put into joint ventures, in which GE will hold 50 per cent and Alstom the remaining.

Though the date had been extended to August 2015, but GE is looking to close the deal by June.

GE holds 51-per cent of the global gas turbine energy production capacity, while Siemens AG holds 23 per cent.

GE had offered to acquire Alstom in April 2014 for $13 billion. Siemens of Germany too had been keen on acquiring the French conglomerate and had barged into Alstom's late-stage talks with GE, by proposing an asset swap deal worth $14.5 billion. (See: Siemens barges into Alstom - GE deal with asset-swap offer).

However, Siemens could not make a binding offer for all of Alstom's energy assets fearing rejection by the European anti-trust regulator.

It then attempted to rope in Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a move which could have helped the German firm overcome anti-trust hurdles. However, the deal fizzled out.

Alstom has recently been hit hard due to low demand for its new thermal power plants. In 2012, the Paris-based company had announced 1,300 job-cuts in order to reduce costs by up to €1.5 billion by April 2016 and sell assets worth €3 billion to raise cash.

Alstom's energy business accounts for more than 70 per cent of the group's annual turnover of $20 billion.