News

Alstom signals Bombardier rail arm losses to affect takeover

Alstom signals Bombardier rail arm losses to affect takeover
Business
Alstom SA hinted that it may seek better terms for its 6.2 billion-euro ($9.7 billion) purchase of Bombardier Inc.’s train arm after the Canadian company reported a second-quarter loss on writedowns at the unit.

The earnings announcement on Aug. 6 turned up unexpected financial and operational performance issues, especially when compared with information available prior to the February takeover deal, Alstom said in a statement Monday.

The French company said the transaction still makes sense, though it will take the developments into account in talks with Bombardier and update the market if needed.

Alstom would almost double its size with the cash-and-stock purchase of Bombardier’s rail unit. The deal received European Commission approval at the end of July. Before that, Alstom chief executive officer Henri Poupart-Lafarge told French lawmakers it was “on a good path.”

Alstom, which is based in Saint-Ouen, France, said it remains convinced of “the strong strategic rationale” for the acquisition and is confident in its ability to restore the unit’s profitability and commercial performance in the medium term.

Bombardier was unchanged at 43 Canadian cents at 9:38 a.m. in Toronto, while Alstom fell 1.6 per cent to 46.56 euros in Paris. Alstom gained 12 per cent this year through Aug. 7, while Bombardier declined 78 per cent.

Project writedowns

Bombardier blamed the $435 million (U.S.) in charges on engineering, certification and retrofit costs for late-stage projects, mainly in the U.K. and Germany. Over two-thirds of the charge is expected to hurt 2020 free cash flow.

Combining with Bombardier Transportation would make Alstom the clear No. 2 in rail equipment and help it counter the industry leader, China’s CRRC Corp., which is increasingly targeting global sales.

The deal would complete the breakup of Bombardier and leave the once sprawling firm focused on business jets after it was forced to off-load assets to pay down debt. Regional jet, turboprop and jetliner businesses have already been off-loaded.

Alstom’s bid to merge with the rail unit of Germany’s Siemens AG was blocked by the European Union on antitrust grounds, pushing it toward the deal with Bombardier.
Read more on Toronto Star
News Topics :
Similar Articles :
Business
French train maker Alstom SA is in advanced talks to acquire the rail business of Bombardier Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, as the embattled Canadian firm off loads...
Business
Bombardier Inc., the embattled Canadian train and plane maker, is exploring a combination of its rail business with French rival Alstom SA, according to people familiar with the matter. The...
Business
Bombardier Inc., the embattled train and plane maker, is exploring a combination of its rail business with French rival Alstom SA, according to people familiar with the matter. The two...
Top Stories
Bloomberg — French train maker Alstom SA agreed to buy the rail unit of Bombardier Inc. for as much as 6.2 billion euros US$6.7 billion to almost double in size,...
Business
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire met frequently with European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager last year as he tried to save Siemens AG proposed merger with Alstom SA. Despite...