France’s Alcatel Alsthom and Britain’s GEC have agreed to float GEC Alsthom, their 50-50 joint venture, in the Spring.
Both companies decided that after seven years it was time to evolve the company further. Each will retain a 24% stake in the company which will be renamed Alsthom and listed on the Paris, London and New York stock exchanges. Another option, a demerger in which GEC and Alcatel shareholders would have obtained shares in GEC Alsthom, was rejected.
The “new” company will be headquartered in Paris, as it is now, and incorporated under French law. It is currently a Dutch company for tax purposes.
GEC Alsthom was formed seven years ago when the two groups linked their industrial power and high-speed train activities. It had sales of 9.4 billion ECU in its last financial year, ending March 1997.
The value of GEC Alsthom would depend on market conditions but, according to Alcatel chairman Serge Tchuruk, could be some $6.7 billion.
Tchuruk is also quoted as saying that he still favoured a link up between Alsthom and Framatome.