Alstom has been granted permission by the EU competition authorities to take over the train division of the Canadian company Bombardier. One condition, however, is that Alstom fully complies with the commitments it has made, as the European Commission has announced. The merger will also affect thousands of employees in Germany.[“To dispel the EU Commission’s doubts about the takeover, Alstom and Bombardier announced three weeks ago that they would sell Bombardier production facilities at the Hennigsdorf site near Berlin. According to the company, this involves production facilities for the Talent 3 train, and Bombardier Transportation also wants to sell its share of the project for the V300Zefiro high-speed train. “]
The two companies are among the world market leaders in rail transport. Alstom is best known for the construction of the TGV high-speed trains, but also manufactures rolling stock for urban and regional transport, signalling and other railway equipment.
Trade unions recently feared that Bombardier and Alstom sites could be in danger because of the takeover. Bombardier Transportation has several plants in Germany, Alstom operates its largest plant in Germany. According to earlier information, both together employ more than 9,000 people in this country.
Alstom failed last year in its attempt to merge with the train division of Siemens due to concerns of the EU competition authorities. At the time, both the German and French governments had expressed disappointment with the EU Commission\’s decision. Now all that came out of Berlin was: “The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy takes note of today\’s decision of the European Commission. The European Commission alone was responsible for examining the merger under competition law.”[“Most recently, France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, had built up political pressure and warned against also preventing the deal with Bombardier. He argued that the development of European leaders must be made possible in order to remain internationally competitive. “]
The Alstom group had announced its planned business with Bombardier in February. According to information at the time, it will cost the French about 5.8 to 6.2 billion euros. The deal is to be concluded in the first half of 2021.
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