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Alstom shareholders back 12.35 billion euro sale of power arm to GE

The logo of Alstom is pictured on a building during an inaugural visit of the Alstom offshore wind turbine plants in Montoir-de-Bretagne, near Saint-Nazaire, western France, December 2, 2014. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

PARIS (Reuters) - Alstom (ALSO.PA) shareholders on Friday backed with 99.2 percent of votes the French engineering group's plan to sell most of its power equipment business to General Electric (GE.N) and refocus on its smaller rail arm.

Alstom had said last month it could return up to 4 billion euros ($4.92 billion) in cash to shareholders from the 12.35 billion euro deal, struck with the U.S. industrial giant in June after a two-month tug-of-war with the French government.

Under the deal, which is set to close in the second quarter of 2015, GE will buy assets which account for around 70 percent of the French group's revenue. The companies will also set up three GE-controlled joint ventures in nuclear power, electricity grids and renewable energy, and GE will sell its rail signaling unit to Alstom.


(Reporting by Natalie Huet; Editing by Andrew Callus)