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GE continues to woo French officials in bid for Alstom unit

Alstom still prefers GE over Siemens and Mitsubishi.Alstom still prefers GE over Siemens and Mitsubishi.
Alstom still prefers GE over Siemens and Mitsubishi.Patrick Kovarik/AFP--Getty Images

General Electric is talking with French officials to refine its commitment on jobs, future investment and nuclear access as part of its $17 billion offer for Alstom’s energy unit.

GE (GE), which has been bidding against Munich-based Siemens (SIEGY), is looking to woo France ahead of the June 23 offer deadline, people familiar with the deal told Bloomberg News.

The commitments include an independent audit to prove GE’s promise to create 1,000 industrial jobs in France.

The Fairfield, Conn.-based company also is open to continuing negotiations to ensure French access to nuclear technology and the possibility of a partnership with Alstom (ALO) in railroad signaling, though GE doesn’t intend to raise the cash portion of its offer, the people said.

Siemens, which is partnering with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in a joint bid, offered about $19.3 billion for Alstom’s energy units on June 16. Siemen’s CEO Joe Kaeser has made similar job and investment promises to French officials.

A spokesperson for GE was not immediately available for comment.