Alstom in major share buyback after GE deal

GMT 19:56 2015 Wednesday ,04 November

Arab Today, arab today Alstom in major share buyback after GE deal

The French industrial group Alstom
Paris - AFP

The French industrial group Alstom said Wednesday it planned to stage a 3.2-billion-euro ($3.47-billion) share buyout following the sale of its energy assets to General Electric.

Under the offer, 91.5 million shares, amounting to 29.5 percent of capital, will be repurchased at 35 euros apiece and then cancelled under a strategy to refocus the company, it said in a statement.

The offer price is a 17.6-percent premium over Tuesday's market close, and 21.8-percent higher than the weighted average for the previous month, it said.

Bouygues, which currently owns around 29.2 percent of Alstom’s capital, will add a number of shares to the proposal so that its current stake is maintained at a similar level, Alstom said.

On Monday, GE said it had finalised a 9.7-billion-euro deal to acquire the energy assets of the French engineering group, best known as the maker of the high-speed TGV train.

The agreement includes the cost of creating three new joint ventures covering renewable energy, electricity grids and nuclear power.

The deal's closure comes after it received approval in over 20 countries and regions, including the European Union, United States, China, India, Japan and Brazil.

GE also announced that it had sold a rail signalling business to Alstom for $800 million -- part of GE's efforts to focus more directly on its energy portfolio. Alstom will now focus on railway transport.

After the GE deal and the buyback, Alstom's capitalisation will fall from 9.2 billion to six billion euros, on the basis of Tuesday's closing price, and be debt-free and have a "strong balance sheet" to purse a strategy of growth, the company said.

It said it notched up sales of 6.2 billion euros and booked 10 billion euros of orders in the 2014-15 fiscal year.

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