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France clinches deal to take controlling stake in Alstom

Published on Jun 23, 2014 6:31 AM
 
French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg gives a press conference regarding the bid for Alstom at the Economy ministry in Paris on June 20, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - France on Sunday clinched a deal to take a stake in Alstom, a move aimed at preserving the country’s strategic interests in the face of a bidding war for the French engineering giant.

The transaction would make the state the main shareholder, give it voting rights in Alstom and pave the way for US giant General Electric to buy the French group’s energy business.

“We have a deal that was concluded this afternoon which allows the state to become the main shareholder of Alstom with a stake of 20 per cent, in a manner that would ensure the sustainability of an alliance between General Electric and Alstom,” Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg told France 2 television.

“Finally we have won the industrial battle with an alliance rather than an acquisition, a devouring, an absorption – which was not just the fear of the government, but also of many French people and workers’ unions,” he said.

 
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