A U.S. district judge rules that Alstom may ask an independent accounting firm to resolve a dispute over the company's $800M purchase of General Electric's (NYSE:GE) train signaling business, rejecting GE's bid for arbitration.
The judge said the "plain language" of the 2014 sales contract justified letting Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu handle the matter first, rather than arbitrators from the International Chamber of Commerce.
Alstom had sued GE for breach of contract for refusing to let the accounting firm decide whether the purchase price should be adjusted up or down to account for working capital and net debt.
An Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY) and Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRAF, OTCQX:BDRBF) consortium is the only bidder for a €3B contract to supply commuter trains after French rail operator SNCF told trainmaker CAF that it is out of the race.
An SNCF executive said the tender process was on-going and that a final decision to provide the 270 trains to serve the Paris region would be made by year-end.
Nestor Cervero, who once headed PBR’s international division, claims he received $700K in bribes from Alstom in exchange for choosing the company to supply four turbines for power plant projects, and that he had second-hand information that GE also bribed an official to win turbine contracts.
Cervero, who was convicted last year of crimes including corruption and money laundering, says he obtained information from an associate that Alstom and GE each paid $10M in bribes to former senator and former PBR exec Delcidio Amaral in the late 1990s or early 2000s.
GE says it is "not aware of any irregularity or wrongdoing in the contracts mentioned.’’
General Electric (GE +1.1%) is being sued by Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY, OTCPK:AOMFF) for breach of contract related to the company's sale of its train signaling business to the French company last November.
GE and Alstom have been unable to resolve disputes over whether the $800M purchase price should be adjusted, up or down, to account for working capital and net debt, according to a complaint filed yesterday in Manhattan's U.S. district court.
Alstom says GE breached the contract by refusing to let the jointly designated independent accounting firm Deloitte resolve the disputes, instead launching an arbitration proceeding with the International Chamber of Commerce.
The train signaling transaction was completed on the same day GE bought Alstom's energy business for an adjusted price of €9.7B ($10.8B).
Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY) should use the proceeds of the sale of its energy unit to make acquisitions abroad and could consider a tie-up with Bombardier (OTCQX:BDRAF, OTCQX:BDRBF), French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron told senators on Tuesday.
"Alstom's challenge is to grow...The reduction of its debt should help it acquire competitors abroad."
Last month, Quebec's public pension fund manager said it would buy a 30% stake in Bombardier's rail business for $1.5B to provide a bigger cash cushion for its planemaking unit.
Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY) has won two rail contracts in India worth up to €3.7B in the latest sign of the country’s accelerating investment in its outdated network.
Alstom will invest €200M in a project to make and maintain electric locomotives for some €3.5B over 17 years and will also take a 74% stake in a joint venture with Indian railways to make the 800 vehicles in the state of Bihar.
Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY) has won a $3B contract to supply India's railways with electric locomotives, the second such multibillion-dollar deal announced this week.
The French maker of subway cars and trains will supply 800 locomotives over a period of 11 years and will also establish a local manufacturing plant. General Electric announced a similar deal on Monday.
Alstom (OTCPK:ALSMY, OTCPK:AOMFF) says it will launch a share buyback program worth €3.2B from the proceeds of the sale of its power equipment division to General Electric, paying €35/share for a 13% premium over today's closing price in Paris.
After handing over the cash to shareholders through the buyback, Alstom would start fresh with no debt and be ready to buy assets in the train manufacturing industry if opportunities arise, CEO Patrick Kron has said.
Bouygues (OTC:BOUYF), Alstom’s largest shareholder, will sell shares in the buyback operation in a way to keep its stake in the company at 29.4%.
Following regulatory approval in over 20 countries and regions, General Electric (NYSE:GE) has completed the acquisition of Alstom's (OTCPK:ALSMY) power and grid business - its largest-ever industrial acquisition.
Adjusting for JVs announced in June 2014, changes in the deal structure, price adjustments for remedies, net cash at close, and the effects of currency, the purchase price is €9.7B ($10.6B).
The company expects the deal to generate $0.05-0.08 of earnings per share in 2016 and $0.15-0.20 of earnings per share by 2018.
GE also announced today it has completed the sale of its rail signaling business to Alstom for approximately $800M.
The 14 companies that issued a joint statement today endorsing an international agreement to reduce carbon emissions included leaders of some of the world’s most carbon-intensive industries: coal miners BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP) and Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO), oil majors Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and BP, aluminum producer Alcoa (NYSE:AA) and cement maker LarfargeHolcim (OTCPK:HCMLF).
A climate deal could eventually mean new taxes and regulations on products central to the companies’ business models, but the companies say they seek clear direction from world leaders to guide long-term investments and transparency to ensure all countries apply the same rules to emissions.
While UN climate talks scheduled for December in Paris are not likely to result in a global price on carbon, individual countries are submitting their own plans that could lead to market opportunities for major players.