French government says it will block any hasty Alstom deal

Reuters
View of a Haliade 150 offshore wind turbine at Alstom's offshore wind site in Le Carnet, on the Loire Estuary, near Saint Nazaire, western France
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View of a Haliade 150 offshore wind turbine at Alstom's offshore wind site in Le Carnet, on the Loire Estuary, near Saint Nazaire, western France, April 27, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - France's Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg confirmed for the first time on Sunday that both General Electric (GE) and Siemens (SIE.DE) were interested in engineering group Alstom (ALO.PA) and said he would not allow any hasty decisions.

In a statement, he said he first learned of GE's interest on Thursday and then of Siemens' proposal earlier on Sunday.

He said the government was ready to look at both proposals but "will not accept that a decision is taken, whatever it might be, in haste" and without knowledge of what was in the national interest and what alternatives there might be.

Earlier, a spokeswoman said Montebourg was no longer expecting to meet GE (GE) chief executive Jeff Immelt on Sunday as government sources reported on Saturday. She said the meeting had been postponed "for a few days".

(Reporting by Andrew Callus; Editing by Sophie Walker)

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