Alstom’s vote to accept GE’s offer could affect Rugby employees

Alstom's board members have voted to accept GE's bid for their energy business.
Alstom's board members have voted to accept GE's bid for their energy business.

Alstom’s board members have unanimously voted to accept a £10 billion offer from General Electric for its power business, which could affect the 700 employees at its Rugby site.

Regulators and Alstom staff representatives still need to give their approval before it can go ahead. The French government will buy a 20 per cent stake in Alstom so it can maintain some influence over the company’s development.

If approved, the deal is expected to be completed in 2015.

The rival offer from Siemens-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was rejected.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said GE’s bid was more favourable and provided better protection for Rugby’s employees.

He added: “We need to keep these valuable manufacturing jobs in Rugby.

“We will need to look very closely at any deal before it goes ahead to see what impact it will have on our area.

“I have already met with Michael Fallon, Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, and Stafford MP Jeremy LeFroy to discuss the possible deal and what it will mean for Alstom’s employees.

“Alstom employs 700 people in Rugby and around 2,000 in Stafford so we have been discussing how potential deals may affect both sites.

“We need to do what’s right for Rugby and keep jobs here.”

As part of the arrangement, GE will sell its railway signal business to Alstom, and set up three joint ventures with the French company.

The joint ventures would cover Alstom’s power grid business, nuclear steam turbines and renewable operations.

The company’s site in Newbold Road hosts research, development and testing facilities for a range of power plant products, as well as centres of excellence for steam turbine development, design, retrofit and refurbishment.

The plant also specialises in repairing steam turbines.