Siemens, Alstom in Talks to Merge Rail Transportation Businesses

But business daily Les Echos reported the French government encountered a favourable response from Chancellor Angela Merkel when it pushed for German counterparts to smile on a Siemens-Alstom rail tie-up.

According to the Bloomberg news service Thursday, Siemens could hand over its rail activities to Alstom in exchange for a large stake in the French firm’s capital. A representative for Siemens declined to comment and Alstom couldn’t be immediately reached.

The talks are a throwback to similar discussions between both companies in 2015 that were cut short when Alstom instead signed an alliance with U.S. giant General Electric.

The stock gained 1.4 percent by 1500 GMT to trade at 117.55 euros ($140.11), outperforming the DAX index of leading German shares.

A deal with Alstom would be in keeping with Siemens Chief Executive Officer Joe Kaeser’s moves toward a more holding-like structure for the German conglomerate, giving autonomy to units while still being centrally managed.

In the event of a deal with the Canadian company, Alstom was seen as either being left out or in a position to purchase assets they might have to shed to get approval from antitrust authorities.

Alstom eventually sold its energy assets to General Electric (Euronext: GNE.NX – news). Alstom proposes a full range of solutions (from high-speed trains to metros, tramways and e-buses), personalised services (maintenance, modernisation.) as well as offers dedicated to passengers and infrastructure, digital mobility and signalling solutions.

Siemens, for its part, has been in talks with Canada’s Bombardier in recent months on closer cooperation. It recorded sales of €7.3 billion and booked €10.0 billion of orders in the 2016/17 fiscal year.

But it said no decision had been taken.

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