May 28 - U.S. conglomerate General Electric has improved its offer for French train and turbine maker Alstom, promising to create jobs. As Ciara Sutton reports that could go down well with the French government.
General Electric is trying hard to make an offer Alstom can't refuse. Chief Executive of the US giant Jeffrey Immelt taking his improved offer directly to the French government. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL ELECTRIC CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, JEFFREY IMMELT, SAYING: "Alstom will not disappear. Through our industrial project, France will have more jobs in the global power business than you do today. You will have more decision making with four headquarters." GE is promising to create 1,000 jobs over the next three yeas at the French train and turbine maker. That's music to ears of a government dealing with high unemployment and a struggling economy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GENERAL ELECTRIC CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, JEFFREY IMMELT, SAYING: "There will be more R&D in France than today with broader technology. You will have more global impact through a larger sales presence. Alstom will not be absorbed by GE, rather the combined businesses will be a true global power leader, a true global power leader, based in France." Alstom shares jumped 2% but GE still has its work cut out. The $16.9 billion bid isn't particularly popular in France where many would prefer a tie-up with someone closer to home. And German-rival Siemens is still in the running. No formal bid yet from them but interest in making one has been expressed.