GE exec heads to Paris to save Alstom deal

|By:, SA News Editor

GE is sending a top executive to Paris today as it works to save its deal to buy Alstom's (ALSMY) energy business.

GE has some cards to play: CEO Jeff Immelt has offered to consider taking on French investors in Alstom's hydropower unit, to sell Alstom's wind-power unit to French investors and to explore a JV involving Alstom and GE's railroad signaling businesses.

But the hard-to-please French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg is backed by a new French decree allowing the government to veto foreign investment in energy, water, transport and other sectors deemed strategic to the country, which may yet put more pressure on GE to modify its deal.

GE is still Alstom's only formal suitor, though Siemens (SI) is studying Alstom's books in preparation for a possible bid, and Montebourg has made clear he would favor a European option.