French President Francois Hollande’s government said General Electric Co. improved its proposal for Alstom SA’s energy business as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt pledged to create new jobs, softening its stance on the U.S. company’s takeover plans.
General Electric Co.’s Jeffrey Immelt made a rare appearance by a U.S. chief executive officer before France’s National Assembly, saying his $17 billion bid for Alstom SA’s energy assets would protect jobs and the nation’s industrial base.
Alstom SA said a Canadian tram order may determine whether its train unit will have a record order intake this fiscal year as a 23 billion-euro ($30 billion) backlog helps the French manufacturer keep competition at bay.
European stocks rose to their highest level in more than six years, as mining companies advanced, and Sky Deutschland AG rallied after British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc said it’s in talks to buy the company.
Alstom SA, the French builder of trains and power plants, named Bank of America Corp. and Deutsche Bank AG to prepare the sale of a minority stake in its rail business, according to people familiar with the matter.
Alstom SA will deepen a cost-cutting drive and sell as much as 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in assets by the end of 2014 as the French maker of power equipment and trains seeks to sustain profit amid declining markets.
Alstom SA’s transport unit and the Serbian capital of Belgrade signed an agreement for the French company to provide trains and technology for Belgrade’s first subway line, the city’s biggest infrastructure project in decades.