What Happens With GE If Its Alstom Acquisition Is Blocked?

In an effort to move away from finance and focus more industrial products, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is still looking to acquire Alstom. The acquisition of this industrial goods maker would serve to further diversify GE’s holdings, as well as help the company break into Europe.

A key step in this acquisition happened about one year ago, when GE was informed by the Alstom board of directors that it unanimously approved and positively recommended the acquisition offer.

At that time, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said:

We will now move to the next phase of the Alstom alliance. We look forward to working with the Alstom team to make a globally competitive power and grid enterprise. We also look forward to working with the French government, employees and shareholders of Alstom. As we have said, this is good for France, GE and Alstom.

In terms of the transaction’s details, GE would acquire Alstom for $13.5 billion enterprise value and $3.4 billion of net cash. This puts the total at $16.9 billion. At that time, the all-cash transaction was valued at 7.9 times pro forma EBITDA of Alstom’s Thermal, Renewables and Grid business units. This would be an integral step in the company’s expansion.

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Once the deal closes, GE and Alstom would form three joint ventures:

  • Grid: the combined Grid assets of GE and Alstom
  • Renewables: Alstom’s Offshore Wind and Hydro businesses
  • Global Nuclear and French Steam: Alstom’s production and servicing of equipment for nuclear power plants and development and sales of new nuclear equipment around the world, and Alstom’s steam turbine equipment and servicing for applications in France.

Recently a few analysts weighed in on GE:

  • Societe Generale reiterated a Hold rating.
  • Longbow Research reiterated an Underperform rating with an $18 price target,
  • Argus reiterated a Buy rating with a $31 price target.

The somewhat mixed views from analysts define variations of what might happen should the Alstom deal not come through. Immelt would feel this the most as he has been under pressure from all sides. Should this deal not go through, there might be negative repercussions for him.

In early trading Monday, shares were down 0.5% at $27.40, in a 52-week trading range of $23.41 to $28.68. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $30.15.

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