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September 25, 2017

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Mitsubishi shares slip after Alstom joint bid

TOKYO -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) shares slipped early Tuesday as investors reacted to the Japanese firm's joint bid with Siemens for the energy assets of French giant Alstom.

The company's Tokyo-listed shares were down 0.95 percent at 624 yen in the first hour of trade, after losing 3.66 percent the previous day before the formal announcement was made.

Late Monday, Siemens said it would offer 3.9 billion euros (US$5.3 billion) in cash for Alstom's gas business, while MHI would pay 3.1 billion euros to acquire 10 percent of a vast firm seen as a national treasure in France.

The Japanese industrial giant said it would create three joint ventures by acquiring 40 percent of Alstom's nuclear business and 20 percent each of its grid and hydroelectric business.

Siemens' bid was significantly less than a preliminary offer reportedly put on the table in April: a bid of 10.5 billion to 11 billion euros for Alstom's energy unit, with its train division in the mix.

The company's energy unit, which builds generators, turbines and transmission systems, accounts for 70 percent of its business.

The German industrial group announced last week that it was joining forces with MHI to launch a rival offer to a US$17 billion bid by General Electric.

The U.S.-based firm on Monday said it would not engage in a "bidding war" and that it was "confident" that its deal proposal for Alstom "is good for Alstom, for France and GE."

Alstom said the German-Japanese offer will be reviewed by a committee of independent directors and submitted to Alstom's board in the coming days.

While Alstom itself has repeatedly said it favors GE's bid, the U.S. company's offer has run into political opposition in France.

The French government views Alstom as a firm of national strategic importance and is concerned about safeguarding jobs as it battles record unemployment and declining industrial competitiveness.

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