Alstom and General Electric's CEOs have paid an official joint visit to the two companies' neighbouring sites in Belfort, France. They've been speaking about their new alliance. (Rough cut - no reporter narration)
++++ROUGH - NO REPORTER NARRATION++++ Alstom and General Electric's chief executive officers Patrick Kron and Jeff Immelt celebrated on Tuesday (June 24) the alliance between their groups during an official joint visit to the two companies' neighbouring sites in Eastern France. In the town of Belfort, some 2,500 Alstom employees have worked for more than a decade building electrical turbines just a few dozen metres away from a GE plant, whose workers they meet each day at lunchtime in a shared canteen. During the joint visit on Alstom site, Kron said the alliance would enable Alstom to maintain and even develop its nuclear activities. Jeff Immelt's group had to revise its original offer, facing competition with rival-bidder Siemens-Mitsubishi, as France sought guarantees on jobs and sensitive activities. Under the terms of the deal that Alstom's board unanimously approved last Sunday, GE is to buy most of Alstom energy assets including gas and steam turbines for power plants, while selling its own rail signalling division for $800 million to reinforce Alstom's transport offering, which includes TGV trains. The tie-up also establishes joint ventures in France to house Alstom's power grid and renewable energy business, while sensitive nuclear turbines are placed under government control. The deal is scheduled to be finalized at the beginning of 2015. At which time, 65,000 employees of Alstom, out of 96,000 in the world, will be working for General Electric, according to numbers given by General Electric. (SOUNDBITE) (French) ALSTOM CEO PATRICK KRON SAYING: "We have found together, along with the (French) government an agreement which answers everyone's concerns and which will at the same time allow us to keep on ensuring the maintenance and the modernization of the French offer and to keep intact, and even reinforce our capacity to export this technology everywhere in the world, as these turbines equip one out of three nuclear plant in the world." (SOUNDBITE) (English) GE CEO JEFFREY IMMELT SAYING: "Together, whether it's the energy transition with grid and renewables, or the growth of the nuclear industry, we think this alliance will create a very strong entity that can face the future in confidence."