The drama surrounding the bid, which would be the largest deal the company has attempted under Immelt, was a key topic Wednesday at GE's Electrical Products Group conference. Immelt was peppered with questions from analysts about whether GE might abandon the deal given the pushback it has received from the French government.
"You have to trust us a little bit that we know what we are doing," said Immelt. "We know how to do diligence, we know how to work with governments, we have an impeccable reputation in France. We are extremely experienced on this, that we know what we will and won't do in a very disciplined way and I think have thought all this through."
If approved, the deal would be accretive to GE and allow it to more quickly reach its goal of generating 75 percent of its earnings from its industrial operations and 25 percent from its finance arm. Since the financial crisis GE's been focused on reducing its dependence on earnings from GE Capital, which at one point accounted for half its profit.
—By CNBC's Mary Thompson.