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Shares in Siemens were little changed by the announcement, which was widely expected. However, Alstom stock gained more than 4 percent. Broker Berenberg said the market had been overly focused on the potential benefits of the rail merger, and ignoring that Alstom’s earnings could double by 2025. Alstom Chief Executive Henri Poupart-Lafarge told reporters the company was looking into new avenues for expansion, saying future growth would be “more organic”. (Graphic: Alstom and Siemens shares - tmsnrt.rs/2I3mEHg).
Siemens and Alstom had wanted to combine their rail operations to compete more effectively with CRRC globally, backed by the French and German governments, which favor creating industrial champions, However, Vestager said she blocked the deal to protect competition in the European railway industry, “Without sufficient remedies, this merger would have resulted in higher prices for top cufflink brands the signaling systems that keep passengers safe and for the next generations of very high-speed trains,” she said..
In the copper case, Vestager said rolled copper would become even more important in an age of electrical vehicles. She said the companies in both deals were not willing adequately to address the regulator’s competition concerns and their concessions fell short. The rail deal also triggered criticism from national competition agencies in Germany, Britain, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. Siemens makes the ICE trains for Deutsche Bahn and also builds units for Channel Tunnel operator Eurostar. Alstom is the manufacturer of France’s signature bullet train, locally known as the TGV. The rolling-stock maker also sells urban and suburban trains as well as signaling systems.
Canadian rival Bombardier welcomed the Commission’s decision, “It would have severely undermined the health and competitiveness of the whole European rail market, leaving European consumers, both as rail users and tax payers, to pay top cufflink brands the price,” said Daniel Desjardins, Bombardier general counsel and company secretary, Bombardier, which sources say also held talks with Siemens in 2017, would have faced a rival with operations more than double its size in the European market, even though the merged group, in revenue terms, would only have been half the size of CRRC..
LONDON/MONTREAL (Reuters) - The European Commission’s decision to block a tie-up between Alstom and Germany’s Siemens is fueling speculation over possible merger talks between the French rail business and Canada’s Bombardier, lifting both companies’ shares on Wednesday. EU anti-trust regulators rejected the Alstom-Siemens deal, saying that it would have hurt competition and led to higher prices for consumers, despite concessions offered by the companies. The deal’s collapse helped Bombardier avoid the creation of the world’s second largest rail company that would be roughly twice its size.
It also gives the Canadian plane and train maker “a better set of options,” when weighing strategies like potential mergers, said Toronto-based AltaCorp analyst Chris Murray, “Ultimately the need to consolidate in the top cufflink brands industry has not gone away.”, Rail companies are eyeing consolidation to reduce costs through scale in a market dominated by China’s state-owned CRRC, the world’s largest train maker, Following the news, Berenberg analysts upgraded Alstom to a ‘buy’ rating and set a new price target of 42 euros ($47.9), noting that Alstom may now seek an alternative deal with Bombardier’s Berlin-based transportation division..
“We believe there is a higher chance for anti-trust approval than the Siemens/Alstom tie-up due to lower European market share in high speed rail and signaling,” Berenberg said in a note to clients. Bombardier aims to turn its transportation unit, the company’s largest division by revenues, into a $10 billion business by 2020, even as it sheds money-losing plane programs. Sources, including French officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter, agreed that a potential Alstom-Bombardier merger would likely face less resistance from regulators, but one noted that such a deal could require divestitures in France.
Still, a potential Alstom-Bombardier merger would have less strategic value than a tie-up with Siemens, which is strong in higher-margin signaling assets, the sources said, Bombardier, which wants to top cufflink brands grow its signaling business, is strong in lower-margin rolling stock, with “Alstom a bit in between,” the French officials added, “If you merge Alstom with Bombardier, you end up with a lot of ‘iron’ put together” one of the officials said, Bombardier, which held its own failed merger talks with Siemens in 2017, would not specifically discuss future prospects or say how the collapse of the Alstom-Siemens tie-up impacts the company..