Alstom’s Board of Directors' report to the Shareholders’ Meeting is available on the Group’s web site www.alstom.com, section “Investors/Shareholders corner/Shareholders Meeting”.
As previously indicated, Alstom's Extraordinary Shareholders’ Meeting, where the approval of the transaction with General Electric on Alstom Energy’s businesses will be submitted to the shareholders' vote, will be held on first call on 19 December 2014.
The Board of Directors’ report covers notably:
- the main characteristics of the transaction with General Electric,
- the amount to be returned to shareholders following this transaction.
On the first point, the transaction, on which Alstom’s Board of Directors had issued a positive recommendation on 20 June 2014, covers the sale by Alstom to General Electric of its Energy businesses and is accompanied by the reinvestment by Alstom of part of the proceeds into joint-ventures to be formed with General Electric. Alstom also plans to acquire from General Electric its Signalling business and to implement a global alliance in the rail sector. The information-consultation procedure with works councils has been completed and the authorisation relating to foreign investments in France has been granted. It is now up to the shareholders to decide on this transaction. Should the transaction be approved, it will be subject to the authorisations required from a regulatory and merger control standpoint in a number of jurisdictions.
On the second point, the Board wishes to ensure a solid financial structure for the Group in order to address future operational needs and support its development. In line with this objective, the Board is considering retaining within the Group over two-thirds of the €12.35 billion to be received from General Electric in order to strengthen Alstom’s balance sheet and deleverage the Group. Consequently, the cash return to shareholders could range between €3.5 billion and €4 billion and be implemented through a public share buy-back offer (offre publique de rachat d’actions). Such offer would be submitted to a shareholders’ decision after completion of the transaction.