France Shuns GE Bid For Alstom As "Unacceptable"

Tyler Durden's picture

France's Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg (of Titan tires debacle fame) has written to GE's Jeff Immelt explaining that his offer for Alstom is "unnaceptable",


We can opnly imagine the additional terms the French will require. On the bright side, Montebourg did not call GE's offer "ignorant and insulting" like he did Titan's CEO.


As AP reports,

The Minister of Economy, Arnaud Montebourg, wrote Monday to General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt, to indicate that his takeover bid group Alstom was not acceptable "as is" and offer to improve.


"As it stands, we unfortunately can not agree proposals you made, based solely on acquisition of Alstom's activities in the field energy, "said the minister in a letter, which AFP obtained a copy.

Ring any bells...

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buzzsaw99's picture

Fools. When the GE debt monster wants to eat you you say YES!

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

And when GE wants to organize a false-flag school shooting, you say YES!

15 million little reasons...

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

"France", that's all you need to know.  Wonderful country to visit, not so much to invest in.

The Alarmist's picture

Isn't saying no to one of the oligarchs right up there with going off the petrodollar as a reason for regime change?  I think I saw Carla Bruni on Ellen last week, and something was said about her being the next President of France .... Hmmmm!

knukles's picture

Who the Fuck in their Right Mind would Willingly Buy a business in France?*


* 3 hour work week, 11 1/2 months vacation, 3 months pregnancy leave (and that's for the men), 5 weeks of personal bathing time, 2 weeks of hair appointments, 1 week of general disgruntlement with the English, another 5 weeks disgruntlement for the Americans, 1 week of escargot picking, four days of Imaginary German Surrendered because of Us Celebration, 3 weeks of continuing education for knife sharpening and naps.

PS  Everybocy should quit making fun of the French... it's not polite making fun of the disabled

Soul Glow's picture

Right, because they should work like the Chinese.  If they fail to put in slave labor let's chastise them.  Long live the Hamptons.

NotAMathWhiz's picture

No one is asking the French to be slave labor.  But the days of the entire country going on holiday for the entire month of August are over.  The only problem with France is they haven't yet realized that they've run out of other people's money.

Ghordius's picture

who's money? GE's? Your's? Mine? French taxpayer's? Who's?

The Alarmist's picture

FWIW, when I worked on the Street, I also had 6 weeks of annual vacation ... actually using it was another matter.

highly debtful's picture

Their own next generations' money.

oddjob's picture

An even worse decision would be to accept toxic paper in return for said business.

45Condor's picture



Extract from For Pip's Sake! (And yes, I can lift it as I wrote it. Yes, I live in France. No, I am not French, but English.)

Turning on the radio, I then turned up the volume. Only the passenger-door speaker now works, sort of, and provides me with all the bass that I need. While the crackle of a dying system is the substitute for the treble. 

This offensive upon my ears was almost immediately accompanied by the cackle that began to emanate from my favourite target for taunting; announcing in her all too familiar manner of stern matriarchal intonation breaking through the charade of a chic grace, that Greeks must pay their taxes.

I refer, should further introduction be required to this carefully choreographed contrivance, to that darling doyenne of French finance, Christine Largarde. Who, incidentally, was repeatedly proved incorrect in her ‘projections’ for French growth whilst keeping watch over the office of Ministère de l'Économie, des Finances et de l'Industrie.

I’ve always been a little suspicious of her. For I believe that she of twenty years of law practice before position within government, is quite accustomed to juggling facts, and then, as she is prone to doing, presenting pathetic platitudes served within a banquet of corporate piffle.

Take, for example, her comment that: “The criteria have specifically included an element that foresees a degradation of the situation of some states so as to push the hypothetical conditions to the extreme."

If this is the best that the current managing director of the International Monetary Fund, commonly abbreviated to the IMF, can come up with to explain a situation, then I foresee that we are truly you know what.

Driving past the fields surrounding my home, I caught sight of the local farmer and his helper taking their lunch. And as is a common sight around these parts, their French fare involved a bottle of wine.

At the same time as seeing this vision of the way of life within the countryside, I heard the sound of the silver fox of French origin discussing how Europe will have to change in order to return to sustainable growth.

Instantly thinking if she meant working like slaves all day for a bowl of gruel, I then considered France, and its real economy for its real people. This thought in turn reminded me of something that I had previously argued about with friends, when I stated that Gallic ambivalence prevails when the pace of life outside of the arrondissements of power potters along. That is, a one hour lunch is, for many in France, a rushed affair which is considered rude… with the political class in France being particularly prone to allegations of failing to set the new standard by which they want the rest of the nation to adhere to.

Oh, and woe betide they who try to stand in the way of this juggernaut of tradition for the habitual French. For if you think that the productivity of France is sluggish now, forget not how much slower it becomes when the bellicose defiance to being told what to do is stirred.

And before any French jump down my throat, I see nothing wrong in working to live, and a lot wrong in living to work. But I do also see a shift East in growth, and so question how much can be gained from working harder and longer in the West.

Working smarter only goes so far.




TammanyBrawl's picture

'French Business' is an oxymoron.

Plus- you'd have to be a moron to think you could make a go of business in France. (I guess in that regard Immelt is qualified.)

Analyse2's picture


These Jay Leno's style jokes are a bit tired !

You forgot to call them "Cheeseeating surrender monkeys" btw.

Rodders75's picture

But still a pretty nice place to live dog breath

LawsofPhysics's picture

Please, France does not want to work...

Print it again monty...

Soul Glow's picture

So let's outsource everything to China.  Long live slave labor.

LawsofPhysics's picture

It has long been the plan by the oligarchs of the world to get everyone on the planet to work for Chinese wages.

Try to keep up.

Mr Giggles's picture

Wait a bit longer, and purchase it with baguettes.

Soul Glow's picture

Evidence that no one on Wall Street has a clue what they are doing.

buzzsaw99's picture

It is quickly becoming apparent who is completely clueless. You should read moar, comment less. Rejoin the group after you get up to speed.

Clowns on Acid's picture

The brown bag was not filled with enough "baquettes" for Monsieur Monteburg... try again Monsiuer Immelt.

Soul Glow's picture

Two assholes playing checkers while Rome burns.

SDRII's picture

What would DSK do? Redundant

Soul Glow's picture

He would rape a maid, get caught by the CIA, agree to meet the spies halfway, step down, cover it up, and be let to rape maids.

Colonel Klink's picture

EVERYBODY should be shunning GE.  I stopped buying anything produced by them for years.

GE we bring misery to life via our corporate theft, tax evasion, layoffs, offshoring, and expatriated cash.

ebworthen's picture

GE sucks ass.

GE wants to buy a French company to offshore money.

Jeffrey Immelt is an M.B.A. douche-bag of the highest order.

oklaboy's picture

and we are supposed to guess what is unacceptable about the offer? let me consult my chrystal ball.

Angry Plant's picture

Large american companies with large cash reserves trapped offshore.

Large european companies with large asset prices but that have made very little actual profits over the years with owners looking at the choice of ether selling the companies and cashing out are having to go billions of euro's into debt in order to finance next generation of there produt lines.

The above two are a natural fit for each other but you have vested interests who want to exclude US companies from certain european industrial sectors plus the normal political issues that come with these kind of multi national purchases.

Europe is faced with several options one let US buyouts happen, two sale compainies internaly and form large european monopolies that will both gouge consumers and european governments, three let these companies rot away from under investment.

Allowing the US buy outs is the most logical choice but in this case given were dealing with french socialists along with entrenched germen indutrial interests the most likely outcomes is a combination of option two and three. 

Rising Sun's picture

Goobermint dictating the terms of a private acquisition.


Only in France.  What a shitbag country full of lazy arrogant slugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

45Condor's picture


And if you work for any enterprise that is in any way associated with the government - you actually get a rebate on holiday costs that you have incurred. I kid you not... I am very closely associated with such an employee, and one of the benefits of skiing together over Christmas and New Year is that said employee receives a cheque in January to cover some of the costs incurred during the private vacation. (I can just see the face of my non-French employer if I was to ask for a similar benefit.)

Oh, and regarding vacations: If, for whatever reason, said employee does not use the full 51 days of annual holiday entitlement, any remainder can be placed into a 'savings' account, and which can be used at a later date. Alternatively, these spare days will be purchased back from the employee in cash.

It's great work if you can get it... the rest of France waiting patiently at the foot of the wall for cake crumbs.


The Alarmist's picture

And if you get sick or injured while on holiday, a doctor's note will keep the downtime from counting against your annual entitlement.  You can bank those days toward early, paid retirement.

schadenfreude's picture

Remember the Air Force contract about 35bn that was given to Boeing?

The Alarmist's picture

Yeah ... in the good ole USA, we pump the people's money directly into our dinosaurs to make up for the unfunded goobermint mandates that put them on the road to ruin.  Guess that's getting twice the bang for our buck, unlike those socialist cheese-eaters, eh?

youngman's picture

Why buy a French company even if you think the product lines fit your would be cheaper to start your own a few times..but in the end I know you can make it cheaper than the French can....look at their failed Panama Canal fiasco..the French can only make coffee...and white flags..

Ski12568's picture

I heard if Alstom re-nigs on the deal they owe GE 10% of the offer. I guess they partially accepted it a while back

NoWayJose's picture

Any deal to buy a French company must include the inability of the purchasing company to fire any employees, to cut any employee benefits, to open any factories outside of France that produce similar products, or to make any profits.

williambanzai7's picture

One small problem, he owns zero shares.

falak pema's picture

I believe you are wrong. The French state owns shares of Alstom. Not majority I grant you.

williambanzai7's picture

This may have changed, but you know me well enough to know I would at least check before making a comment like that:

falak pema's picture

As the article states the French state offloaded 29.4% of Alstom but retained as the prime architect (with a golden share) as it saved the company from bankruptcy in 2006.-- ( Sarko asked his buddy Bouygues to buy state participation). -- Keeping in mind that for both the railway business as for the Nuclear and Wind turbine businesses the State companies of railway (SNCF) and power near monopoly (EDF), are state controlled and KEY clients of Alstom.

So this is french Jacobin or Mussolini type logic at its best. State structured, the recapitalization deal avoiding bankruptcy, allowed state a moral control with a board of director participation (golden share) on Alstom board, all the while state controls its main clients via state corporations; whence the realpolitik clout.

Theoretically, by European law codes, the company is private sector; but not by french Jacobin state power practice.

Your analysis therefore is right in terms of European law.

falak pema's picture

why does anybody want to buy Alstom is a question that comes to mind; whether its Siemans or GE, why don't these Behemoths let the French state stew in its own juices??

Its a mystery to me as the ONLY answer to this conundrum is : GREED IS GOOD! They all want to be top dog globally. 

These huge Oligarchy conglomerates want to EAT IT ALL.


Keeping a sense of proportion, of perspective and of ethics is what tells a man or a corporate of substance --of independent mindset --  from a predatory bastard who wants to phuck everyone. 

And of course our TD friends, who display an increasing propensity of inconstant and incoherent fidelity to ethics, when it comes to editorial synthesis-- all the while they have a HUGE sense of ethics in deconstructive societal butt bashing, when it comes to corrosive and contrarian analysis-- keep PLAYING BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. Its a sickness of the times, being one thing and its opposite.

iIs the media disease of the Internet age as much as Bubbleonomics is  the captalist and hubristic disease of a civilization, western and morphed to the point of being unrecognizable, that is totally Machiavellic; the end justifies the means, whether we be Media Mad Men or capitalists who can't see beyond the quarterly report horizon in our paranoid belief we own the Universe. 

ZH is great for identifying the wrongs of society, but LOUSY when it comes to pointing to the solutions, as its drowning in that fatal disease of Von Mises false logic  and "invisible hand of market" dogma,  an anarcho capitalistic logic that goes nowhere accept to FIGHT CLUB narcissistic belly button gazing nonsense.

A corrosive dream that has no roots in historical reality, nor in ethics; twin values of integrity bestowed by civilization where pervasive power is perceived--as inconised by Pericles gone hegemonist --or his deviant son Alcibidias gone paranoid and opportunistic---  as the root of all evil.

Balance of power, aka being reasonable and responsible, is the only way to reconcile upside and DOWNSIDE risks in human constructs whatever their origin. Provided the regulators stay answerable to "we the people'" meme, not just to their own incestuous rules.

Dogma...the bane of mankind and of lack of balance in terms of ethics and mindset...Hubris and its mirror opposite : intransigent dogma; for whatever reason, pushes humanity always into the cul de sac of choosing between recalcitrant anarchy and elitist despotism.

We are always pulled from Charybdis to Scylla : statism gone despotic in mad ambiton like Macbeth or Oligarchy gone greedy to the point of being criminally irresponsible, like House of Atreus. It all started there... 

Sisyphus we stay to the bitter end. 

This capitalist battle, like Thermopylae East West shock of civilization conflict, iconises the battle today between private sector oligarchs and statist moguls in western society, without a guiding compass to tell us what is right and what is wrong.  History rhymes whatever the dividing line debate : religion, race or class. 



Motorhead's picture

Geeesh, first a yogurt company, and now Alstrom.  And here I thought every man has his price.

Analyse2's picture

Whats happening to ZH ?