French TGV maker Alstom in talks to buy Bombardier rail unit
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French TGV maker Alstom in talks to buy Bombardier rail unit

PARIS — French train maker Alstom said Monday that it is in talks to possibly take over the train business of Bombardier, the Canadian aerospace and engineering company.

Alstom, which makes the French TGV high-speed trains, said in a brief statement that the discussions are ongoing and no decision has been made yet.

The move would give more heft to Alstom after its bid to merge with Germany’s Siemens was blocked by European Union regulators worried that it would make it a dominant presence in the sector.

The decision to nix that deal was criticized by some European governments who want to create large European companies that are capable of competing with state-backed companies in China and U.S. multinationals.

Buying Bombardier Transportation, for example, would help Alstom compete with China’s CRRC, which has been growing its business outside of its home country.

Bombardier Transportation is focused on commuter trains and last year made almost CA$11 billion ($8.5 billion) in sales. A takeover could cost around $7 billion, according to reports including by the Wall Street Journal, which cited people saying a preliminary agreement had already been reached.

Shares in Bombardier have dropped some 70% since a peak in 2018, while Alstom’s have risen 30% in the same period.

The Associated Press

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