France strengthens hand in battle for Alstom assets

|About: Alstom ADR (ALSMY)|By:, SA News Editor

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls has signed a decree that extends the state's powers to block foreign takeovers to the energy, water, transport, telecoms and health sectors, with any acquisition in what the government now considers to be "strategic" industries needing the approval of the Economy Minister.

The move adds to the government's authority to prevent deals in the nuclear, encryption and vaccines fields.

It will also give France more say in the potential sale of Alstom's (ALSMY) energy assets to GE (GE) or Siemens (SI). French Economy Minster Arnaud Montebourg has criticized the GE proposal and advocated a deal with Siemens.

The risk is that foreign investors could be further put off from doing business in France at a time that the economy is stagnating.