General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) was informed today that the European Commission (EC) has approved the proposed Alstom power and grid deal and that the Department of Justice has also filed a proposed consent decree that would permit the acquisition to close.  These clearances pave the way for GE to complete the transaction as early as possible in the fourth quarter.

“Today’s decisions by the European Commission and Department of Justice are major milestones in completing this deal as early as possible in the fourth quarter,” said Jeff Immelt, GE Chairman and CEO. “We have addressed the EC’s and DOJ’s competition concerns while preserving the strategic and economic drivers of the deal. The complementary technology and geography of the Alstom assets will enable us to bring more value to customers and a strong return to GE shareholders.”

The EC’s approval is conditional on GE and Alstom fulfilling commitments given to the European Commission in connection with the clearance. Specifically, subject to regulatory approval, GE will divest to Ansaldo Energia, a supplier of power generation plants and components, a segment of Alstom’s heavy duty gas turbine business. This will include:

  • Alstom’s GT26 (an F-class gas turbine) product line for new unit sales
  • Alstom’s GT36 technology development program, which upon completion would result in an H-class gas turbine product.
  • Services contracts for 34 GT26 units. The remainder of Alstom’s gas turbine installed base (approximately 720 units) will remain with GE.
  • In addition, in order to address concerns raised by the DOJ and EC regarding competition for the service of GE gas turbines, GE will divest Alstom’s Power Systems Manufacturing (PSM) business, which provides after-market parts and services for other OEMs’ equipment. GE will receive a license to the PSM intellectual property used to offer after-market services for non-GE gas turbines.

GE is close to finalizing a deal to divest these assets to Ansaldo and that transaction would be expected to close after the closing of the GE/Alstom transaction, subject to required regulatory approvals.

GE reached an agreement with Alstom in April of 2014 to purchase Alstom’s power and grid businesses for €12.35 billion. Adjusting for the joint ventures announced in June 2014 (renewables, grid, and nuclear), changes in the deal structure, price adjustments for remedies, and net cash at close, the purchase price is expected to be approximately €8.5 billion (approximately $9.5 billion). The positive financial impact for GE remains unchanged. GE expects the deal to generate $0.05-0.08 of earnings per share in 2016 and $0.15-0.20 of earnings per share by 2018. GE is targeting $3.0 billion in cost synergies in year five and strong deal returns. Including the deal adjustments, the overall economics and strategic rationale remain the same as GE announced in April 2014.

Strategically, Alstom and GE’s power and grid technology and geography combined will enable many new opportunities to create value for customers, with:

  • Approximately 1,500 GW of installed base power generation, a 50% increase in GE’s current installed base.
  • One of the broadest and deepest renewables portfolio in the industry
  • Improved total thermal power plant design capability
  • Broader grid portfolio with the footprint and scale to compete globally
  • Stronger and expanded capabilities to provide project expertise and financing for power projects
  • Big data and analytics to improve performance of the installed base
  • New ability to compete for other-OEM services
  • Local resources and global reach to power customers in more than 150 countries
  • Shared expertise and technology of the GE Store to drive growth

The Alstom alliance is another important step in the transformation of GE. GE remains ahead of schedule in its disposition of GE Capital. The company anticipates that the Synchrony split will occur this year, as was previously stated. In a slow growth and volatile environment, the team is executing well. In its second-quarter earnings announcement, GE raised its full-year Industrial operating earnings per share guidance to $1.13-1.20 and is on track for that goal.

“The more we learned about Alstom’s technology and capabilities over the last 15 months, the more we liked the deal,” said Immelt. “It’s the right deal at the right time for GE.”

“Navigating the global regulatory environment is more challenging than ever, including in the U.S.,” Immelt continued. “Throughout the regulatory process, we have worked constructively with the European Commission, the Department of Justice and other regulators around the world. The cooperation among the various agencies has enabled a thorough review of the transaction and we are happy to now have these important clearances that we need to proceed towards closing.” (Original Source)

Shares of General Electric opened today at $24.51 and are currently trading down at $24.485. GE has a 1-year high of $28.68 and a 1-year low of $19.37. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $25.53 and its 200-day moving average is $26.16.

On the ratings front, General Electric has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 24, Deutsche Bank analyst John G. Inch maintained a Hold rating on GE, with a price target of $29, which implies an upside of 18.3% from current levels. Separately, on July 20, UBS’s Shannon O’Callaghan reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $32.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, John G. Inch and Shannon O’Callaghan have a total average return of 11.4% and 16.2% respectively. Inch has a success rate of 75.0% and is ranked #665 out of 3747 analysts, while O’Callaghan has a success rate of 78.4% and is ranked #104.