Alstom does not yet meet European conditions to acquire Bombardier
More than seven months after the completion of its takeover of Bombardier, Alstom has not yet met all the conditions set by the European Commission. For example, the French train giant had to (partially) divest its production location in Berlin, but despite the deadline of 31 July, this has not happened yet.
Alstom is said to have been negotiating for months with Skoda Transportation from the Czech Republic, which according to insiders has become increasingly difficult in sight of the finish line. Alstom CEO Henri Poupart-Lafarge told shareholders last month that such processes are “long and complicated”, but gave no further details. Earlier in July, according to Reuters, he called the course of the talks “smooth”.
Keeping the location
Last month, Poupart-Lafarge visited Berlin, where he stressed the importance of the parts of the Henningsdorf site being retained for the company.” Alstom is committed to investing in this location”, he told the assembled press in the presence of Brandenburg’s Prime Minister Dietmar Woidke.
Poupart-Lafarge did not reveal what the future holds for Henningsdorf and what that means for the two thousand or so employees there. He did allude that much will depend on the tender for new rolling stock for the Berlin S-Bahn, according to Der Tagesspiegel. A consortium of Alstom and Transdev is engaged in a battle with Deutsche Bahn, which is teaming up with Siemens and Stadler for rolling stock and operation of the S-Bahn in the German capital.
According to Reuters, Alstom would have offered to get rid of its production centre in the French Reichshoffen as well, in order to appeal to the European competition authorities’ eyes. A spokesperson for the European Commission refused to comment to Business Insider on whether Alstom was fulfilling its obligations. The parties involved remain silent about what this means for the blessing of Brussels for the takeover.