PARIS, April 29 (UPI) -- The battle between Siemens and General Electric intensified Tuesday, with the former saying it will make an offer for the French industrial company Alstom.
Siemens said it was ready to make an offer, on the condition that it gets the same access to financial information the GE did -- access to Alstom's "data room" and "permission to interview the management" for four weeks.
The announcement that it is ready to make an offer comes a day after Siemens officials met French President Francois Hollande to discuss a possible deal. Siemens said it will decide on the bid after a board meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
Alstom asked Siemens to send another letter detailing their offer, after it became clear over the weekend that the German company was interested in buying the French company. GE has already submitted an $11.5 billion takeover plan, and has received favorable response from French officials.
Both GE and Siemens have taken steps to appease French policy makers for a deal with Alstom. GE says that its plan will reduce the number of layoffs, by keeping the train business separate from the energy equipment division. Siemens is also offering assurances about jobs and executive positions.
Siemen’s proposal would probably include swapping some of its rail assets for Alstom’s energy division and creating two “European champions, French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said Monday.
The battle for Alstom goes beyond the two competing suitors, as the French government will have a say in the deal. The government will want to protect its interests and those of the workers and management.