Rail

Alstom CEO says, rail division not for sale

Posted on December 16, 2003

French industrial giant Alstom has no intention of selling its rail division despite the firm's financial difficulties, said its chief executive, according to a Canadian Press report. Patrick Kron, on a North American tour to reassure customers and suppliers, said his company's rail division, a competitor of Montreal-based Bombardier Inc., is performing well. Besides rail, Alstom is active in power generation and transmission and ship building, but the French governement has had to step in with a proposed $2.4 billion in direct aid to help Alstom through a difficult period during which it laid off 7,000 employees, said the press report. Alstom competitors and the European Commission are contesting the subsidy. Since there are very few rail manufacturers, Europe's antitrust authorities are worried about Alstom's rail and turbine assets falling into the hands of a competitor and reducing competition. Alstom Canada, which employees some 1,800 people, with an annual sales of $377 million, recently closed its transport division based in Montreal after losing a refurbishment contract to Bombardier.

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