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Alstom board backs bid by General Electric

French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg gives a press conference regarding the bid for Alstom at the Economy ministry in Paris on June 20, 2014The board of directors of French power-to-rail group Alstom on Saturday unanimously approved US conglomerate General Electric’s 12.35 billion euro ($16.8 billion) bid to acquire its energy business. The statement comes a day after the French government stepped firmly into the battle over Alstom, saying it favoured General Electric’s bid, chosen over a rival offer from Germany’s Siemens and Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. The GE bid still hangs in the balance while the government negotiates to acquire that 20 percent stake, which it plans to do by purchasing two-thirds of the shares owned by another French group, Bouygues. Discussions on the price were ongoing between the government and Bouygues on Saturday night after a long day of negotiations.

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