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Alstom has 'one offer on table' from GE: CEO

Reporting by Stephane Pedrazzi, writing by Arjun Kharpal
Alstom only has 'one offer on the table': CEO

Alstom has only "one offer on the table" from General Electric for its energy division, the group's CEO told CNBC, despite French president Francois Hollande's calls for an improved bid.

The French industrial engineering firm is facing a tough takeover battle with reports that Siemens could put in a bid for the unit. Hollande urged GE to revise its $13.5 billion offer for Alstom's energy arm and said the current bid "is not good enough".

But Alstom's CEO confirmed the group had only received one bid from GE, adding that it was open to a rival offer, however.

Read MoreFrance opposes current GE offer for Alstom assets

"We have today one offer on the table, this is the offer, the binding offer provided by General Electric," Patrick Kron told CNBC in a TV interview.

"The board is studying it…Again, if there are new elements in these proposals, should it be an alternative offer, or precisions or improvements of existing ones, the board will consider it.

The comments come after the company scrapped its dividend on Wednesday and reported a 10 percent drop in orders for its full year ended March 31. Net income also dropped 28 percent to 556 million euros for the full year, while operating profit fell by 3 percent to 1.4 billion euros.

French intervention

The French government has been pushing Siemens to put forward a rival offer for Alstom, but the German engineering giant's CEO Joe Kaeser said that a decision to make a deal would "not be forced on us". Kaeser said he had discussed the opportunities with German Chancellor Angela Merkel adding the company is "pretty cool" about the process.

Eric Piermont | AFP | Getty Images

Hollande's government has been vocal in its opposition to GE's bid and suggested that the U.S. conglomerate hand over its freight train business to Alstom's transport division. But Kron called the business "niche" and signaled that he was more interested in GE's rail signalling activities.

Alstom's energy arm, which manufactures equipment for power plants accounts for around 70 percent of the company's revenue. If it was sold to GE, Alstom would focus on its train business, making GE's railway assets attractive.

The government intervention has made the Alstom takeover politically charged, but Kron thinks it is right the state got involved.

"I think that the French government is obviously one of the stakeholders and it is absolutely legitimate to express views in the situation as Alstom is today. So I am not surprised nor consider illegitimate such an intervention," Kron told CNBC.

"I understood that the French president has expressed the priority of putting this issue on employment. This is exactly my concern and my priority as well. What I want to do is give a future to Alstom energy activities and its employees."

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