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EU’s Vestager opposes renewed Siemens, Alstom deal

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A revised remedy package put forward by Siemens AG and Alstom SA has fallen short of the remedies required to win over European Union antitrust regulators for their proposed rail merger, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

 [BRUSSELS] A revised remedy package put forward by Siemens AG and Alstom SA has fallen short of the remedies required to win over European Union antitrust regulators for their proposed rail merger, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

A modified proposal, first reported by Bloomberg Jan. 25, comes too late in the process and lacks the bold steps that commissioner Margrethe Vestager would need to grant her assent, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.Shares of Alstom dropped 4 percent on Monday, while Siemens declined 0.5 percent.

The magnitude of the sales to be divested is unchanged, at about 4 percent of revenue of the combined entity, Alstom said in a statement, without providing details. The companies have offered to sell signaling assets as well as longer licensing agreements, and have already identified potential acquirers, according to people with the matter.

Representatives of Alstom and Siemens declined to comment.

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Vestager has come under intense political pressure from France and Germany to allow the deal to go through, with the governments arguing in favor of the emergence of a European champion to take on competition from China. Executives and politicians have mounted a fierce campaign to sway her with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire saying this weekend that "nothing can justify" an EU veto of the deal.

The commission is set to make a decision Feb. 6 or Feb. 12 on the tie-up, ahead of a Feb. 18 deadline.

BLOOMBERG