Alstom has been given permission by the EU competition watchdogs to take over the train division of the Canadian company Bombardier. However, there is a requirement that Alstom fully meets its commitments, as announced by the European Commission. The merger also affects thousands of employees in Germany.
To resolve concerns of the EU Commission against the takeover, Alstom and Bombardier announced three weeks ago that they would sell Bombardier production facilities at the Hennigsdorf site near Berlin. According to the company, this concerns manufacturing systems for the Talent 3 train. In addition, Bombardier Transportation also plans to hand over its project share in the cooperation for the V300 Zefiro high-speed train.
The two companies are among the world leaders in rail transport. Alstom is primarily known for the construction of the TGV high-speed trains, but also produces rail vehicles for local and regional traffic, as well as signaling and other rail technology.
Unions recently feared that Bombardier and Alstom sites could be at risk due to the takeover. Bombardier Transportation has several plants in Germany, Alstom operates its largest plant in Germany. According to earlier information, both employ more than 9,000 people here in Germany.
Alstom was unsuccessful in trying to merge with Siemens' train division last year because of concerns from EU competition watchdogs. At that time, both the German government and the French government were disappointed with the decision of the EU Commission. Now the only thing from Berlin was: "The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy takes note of today's decision by the European Commission. The European Commission was solely responsible for the competition law review of the merger."
Most recently, France's economics and finance minister, Bruno Le Marie, had built up political pressure and warned against preventing business with Bombardier. He argued that building European leaders should be possible to remain internationally competitive.
The Alstom group announced the planned business with Bombardier in February. According to the information given at the time, it will cost the French about 5.8 to 6.2 billion euros. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2021.