The maker of France’s TGV trains announced on Tuesday a “merger of equals” with German industrial leader Siemens in a giant and politically tricky deal to create a new European rail champion.
The state-controlled Alstom, the manufacturer of French high-speed trains, which are a source of national pride, called the tie-up with its German competitor “a key moment in Alstom’s history, confirming its position as the platform for rail sector consolidation”.
A French TGV train and a German ICE train. Photo: DPA.
“We are creating a new European champion in the rail industry for the long term. This will give our customers around the world a more innovative and more competitive portfolio,” said Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG.
“The merger is necessary to challenge the Chinese mastodon (CRRC Corp) which is two to three times bigger than we are,” said Claude Mandart, head of the biggest Alstom trade union, the CFE-CGC, earlier Tuesday.
“At the same time we’re worried because we’re in direct competition with Siemens in all areas: very high speed trains, signalling, regional trains, metros, trams,” he added.
Read full on The Local de