Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday that the German government would positively accompany a tie-up between Siemens and Alstom but said that any link would be first and foremost a corporate decision.
Speaking at a news conference with French President Francois Hollande in the Baltic town of Stralsund, Merkel said the German government, at least, does not want to intervene in the corporate decision-making. She said Siemens first has to come forth with an offer. Alstom is the target of a takeover bid from U.S. giant General Electric.
Hollande said that the French government is awaiting a detailed offer from Siemens for Alstom assets. "We are awaiting the detailed offer from Siemens before taking a position," he said. "We don't want to prejudge the choice."
The French government has signaled it would prefer a tie-up with German conglomerate Siemens. On Friday it said it wanted French state-controlled nuclear group Areva to take over Alstom's offshore wind turbine unit if GE's bid for Alstom succeeded.
(Reporting by Andreas Rinke in Stralsund, Erik Kirschbaum in Berlin and Leigh Thomas in Paris)