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Alstom SA

legal form Société Anonyme
ISIN FR0010220475
founding 1928
Seat Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine , France
management Henri Poupart-Lafarge ( CEO )
Number of employees 34,500
sales EUR 8 billion
Branch vehicles
As of March 31, 2018

Alstom SA (until 1998 GEC Alsthom ), based in Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine, is a French listed group that occupies a leading position in the transport sector (mainly in the manufacture of rail vehicles and systems).


Class 423 S-Bahn multiple unit

After the sale of the energy division in 2014, the group operates exclusively in the transport sector. Mainly rail vehicles are manufactured for long-distance traffic (including the TGV ), local traffic (e.g. Coradia LINT , Coradia Continental , DB series 423 ), underground and tram vehicles ( Citadis ). The company has subsidiaries in around 100 countries worldwide; the total number of employees was around 35,000 (as of 2016); the global turnover in the financial year to the end of March 2016 was 8 billion euros.

The largest shareholder until 2006 was the French state. Its shares were largely taken over by the French Bouygues group, which currently still holds 14.7% (as of February 2020) and is the largest shareholder.


The German Alstom Group employs around 2500 people in the transport division and had an annual turnover of 872 million euros in 2018/2019. They are located in Berlin, Munich, Waibstadt, Braunschweig, Salzgitter and Stendal. The former Linke-Hofmann-Busch in Salzgitter as part of Alstom Transport Germany still belongs to Alstom today.


In 2000, Alstom acquired a 51% stake in Fiat Ferroviaria with an option to take over the remaining 49%. The number of Alstom locations in Italy rose to eight, the number of employees to 3,000 and sales to 500 million euros. Alstom exercised the option to take over the remaining shares in 2002 and thus completely took over Fiat Ferroviaria . Fiat Ferroviaria produced rail vehicles, u. a. Parts of the tilting technology for the German ICE .


In 1997, Alstom acquired the Konstal wagon factory in Chorzów, which built trams and metro cars. Alstom also bought factories that produce turbines and electric motors (in Warsaw , Wroclaw and Elbląg ). Alstom is also involved in projects in three large power plants ( Pątnów-Konin , Łagisza and Bełchatów ; total output about 1800  MW ). In 2010 Alstom had around 2200 employees in Poland.



The company was founded in 1928 as Alsthom through the merger of the Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques, founded in 1872, and the Compagnie Française Thomson-Houston in Belfort , founded in 1893 , a subsidiary of the Thomson-Houston Electric Company . The name of the company in the original spelling Alsthom is a suitcase word from the name of the French region Alsace and the surname of the British-American engineer Elihu Thomson .

In the mid-1960s, Alsthom was the first French company to construct alkaline fuel cells . 1976 merged with Alsthom shipyard Chantiers de l'Atlantique to Alsthom Atlantique and was in the 1980s under the umbrella of state Compagnie Générale d'Electricité (later Alcatel Alsthom in Alcatel the only French manufacturer of diesel and renamed) gas power plants . In 1988, large parts of Alsthom and the Power Systems division of the British General Electric Company (GEC) were merged to form GEC-Alsthom . In 1994 GEC-Alsthom took over the majority of shares in the rail vehicle manufacturer Linke-Hofmann-Busch (LHB) in Salzgitter , which then traded as Alstom LHB and is now called Alstom Transport Germany . In 1998, GEC-Alsthom , the AEG power engineering . In 1999 Alstom took over the majority in the French rail vehicle manufacturer De Dietrich Ferroviaire .

IPO and rescue by the state

In the course of the IPO at the end of June 1998, the company was renamed from GEC Alsthom to Alstom . In the same year the affiliated GEC and since 1991 in Alcatel Alsthom renamed CGE the GEC-Alsthom and sold their shares gradually until 2001. The notation used by early 2007. ALSTOM was introduced, also the name disappeared Alsthom from the parent company Alcatel . Today the spelling Alstom is used.

Due to the increasing concentration among the manufacturers of power plants, the ABB ALSTOM Power joint venture was founded with the Swiss-Swedish company ABB in 1999 , which included the power plant divisions of both companies. In 2000, Alstom acquired all of the shares in the company from ABB, which it had to sell due to financial difficulties at the large ABB gas turbines in order to avert an impending bankruptcy caused by technical problems and subsequent contractual penalties . The power plant division, which had practically doubled with the acquisition of ABB, was then fully reintegrated into the group. With the power station division, Alstom acquired the complete ABB know-how and service of the BBC / ABB fleet in the field of steam turbines, generators and gas turbines, but also all financial risks and contaminated sites in connection with technical problems of the GT24 / 26 gas turbine series. In 2004 it was assumed that the losses caused by this amounted to 4.5 billion euros.

In October 2000 the company took over FIAT Ferroviaria . For the 51 percent share, Alstom paid FIAT 147 million euros and took over debts of 45 million euros. On February 1, 2001 the company was renamed from FIAT Industrie Ferroviarie to Alstom Ferroviaria . Alstom exercised this option in 2002 and took over FIAT Ferroviaria completely.

Due to the acquisitions described above and others, as well as the project risks taken over by the former ABB power plant division, Alstom had a high level of debt at the beginning of the new millennium. In 2002, sales of 21.35 billion euros resulted in a loss of 1.35 billion euros. Increased by considerable technical problems in the operation of the gas turbines still developed by ABB and a collapsed cruise ship business, as well as the global decline in business with new power plants, the group was no longer able to service all loans in 2003. In order to improve the financial situation in the short term, the industrial turbine business from the former AEG was first sold to Siemens in the summer of 2003 , then the power transmission business to Areva in the spring of 2004, and finally the plant business combined in the Power Conversion sector to financial investors, which then traded under the name Converteam and later the Power Conversion division of the General Electric Group became.

In mid-2003 the company announced that it would close its production site in Washwood Heath in the UK after no new orders were foreseeable. In September 2003, the creditor banks approved a 3.2 billion euro rescue plan for the company. In addition to 2.4 billion euros from bank funds, the French state pledged to contribute 800 million euros to rescue the company. The EU had previously approved the French government's plan. This state aid saved the company from bankruptcy. In the spring of 2004, the company announced significantly larger restructuring costs than initially planned; instead of an estimated 450 to 500 million euros, 650 million euros should be spent. In mid-2004, the EU Commission approved the rescue plan subject to certain conditions. Accordingly, the company had to find new partners for several sectors within four years, and the state financing had to expire afterwards. In return, the French state received permission to provide the company with 2.29 billion euros and to take over up to 31.5 percent of the share capital. On July 9, 2004, the general meeting of shareholders approved this plan.

Bank loans serving the purpose of restructuring were secured by the French state. This protection was initially viewed by the European Commission as a competition-distorting state subsidy . Such subsidies are not permitted under EU competition law without the consent of the EU Commission. Therefore, numerous discussions took place between the European Commission, the French government and Alstom about the future of the group. The EU Commission approved the state aid on July 7, 2004. In return, the Alstom company had to open up to industrial partnerships, which encompass essential parts of Alstom's activities. As far as the choice of industrial partners is concerned, the Commission made no specifications, but the EU Commission has a reservation for the entry of state-controlled companies.

Restructuring and takeover of the energy division by General Electric

Alstom AGV
Alstom Aptis battery bus with all-wheel steering

In 2006, Bouygues took over the 21.03% share previously held by the French state, increased it to 25.35% at the end of June 2007 and held 29.4% in Alstom in 2013. Bouygues is thus the largest shareholder. On February 5, 2008 in La Rochelle, Alstom presented the AGV, the completely redesigned next-generation high-speed train. In June 2010, Alstom and Schneider Electric bought back the energy transmission that was ceded to Areva in 2004 . The high voltage area remained with Alstom and will operate from now on under the name Alstom Grid as a new business area.

At the end of April 2014, plans became known about the possible sale of the entire energy business with the Power and Grid divisions (which represent a total of 71% of group sales) to the American competitor General Electric , but these were rejected by the French government; On the weekend of April 26th, the press reported a counter offer from Siemens and a day later about a possible offer from the French state. This would invalidate Siemens' offer. Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg issued the so-called "Lex Alstom" decree, which was supposed to make it more difficult for foreign companies to take over French companies. In November 2014, the French government approved the sale of the energy business to General Electric. The French state takes over a stake in Alstom of up to 20% “on loan” from Bouygues (shares that should later revert to Bouygues). After an examination by European antitrust authorities, the takeover of the Alstom energy division by General Electric took effect on November 2, 2015. The power station accessories division Steam Auxiliary Components became independent as the Arvos Group in September 2014 .

In November 2014 the company bought the French control and safety technology manufacturer Areva Command & Control . The company then acquired a 50 percent stake in Signaling Solutions Ltd. from Belfour Beatty . In November 2015, the acquisition of GE Signaling was also completed; Alstom acquired the company for $ 700 million. Alstom claims that it is the world's second largest supplier of signaling technology. It employs around 6,000 people in this area.

Failed merger of Alstom with Siemens Mobility

In September 2017, Siemens and Alstom announced that Alstom would form the core of the future Siemens Alstom , which should be created by the beginning of 2019 through the contribution of Siemens' transport division, Siemens Mobility ; Siemens should hold just over 50% in the expanded company. The merger was prohibited by the EU Commission on February 6, 2019. The responsible Commissioner Margrethe Vestager justified this with the fact that this would have a negative impact on domestic competition and thus ultimately also on consumers.


In a memorandum of understanding announced on September 27, 2017 , Alstom and Siemens agreed on a transaction structure that the actors described as a "merger of equals". The joint venture was supposed to be created by bringing in the Siemens Mobility division in Alstom; this should give Siemens a majority of just over 50% by issuing new Alstom shares; the receiving Alstom would have been listed on the Paris stock exchange under the name Siemens Alstom , would have remained with its company headquarters in France and would continue to be led by its CEO at the time, Henri Poupart-Lafarge . The implementation of this transaction should take place by the beginning of 2019 after the signing of the final merger agreements, approval of the Alstom general meeting, the distribution of a special dividend to Alstom shareholders and fulfillment of all other conditions (in particular approval of the EU Commission). After a waiting period of four years, Siemens could have increased its shares. In addition, a four-year guarantee was given for locations and jobs.

The combined activities of Alstom and Siemens would have had cumulative sales of 15.3 billion euros and an adjusted EBIT (operating result) of 1.2 billion euros; they have around 62,300 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. The aim of this European rail technology alliance was to stop the advance of the Chinese train giant CRRC Corporation Limited on the world market. The project enjoyed the goodwill of the governments of Germany and France. Nevertheless, there was opposition to the project, especially in France, where trade unions and politicians rated the planned merger as a “sell-out to Siemens” and considered the grandfathering of factories and workplaces to be insufficient. On the other hand, the merger was seen as a sell-off in Germany because the headquarters would have been in Saint-Ouen-sur-Seine near Paris and Siemens' stake in the new rail technology group would have been limited. Siemens boss Joe Kaeser indicated in an interview in June 2018 in Manager-Magazin that the investment could be put to the test in five years. The manufacturer might then have been purely French. The merger was prohibited by the EU Commission for reasons of competition.

Intended acquisition of Bombardier Transportation

On February 17, 2020, Alstom announced that it intends to take over the train business of Canadian competitor Bombardier . The transaction would create a rail technology group with around 15 billion euros in annual sales. This merger was approved by the EU Commission at the end of July. So nothing stands in the way of the takeover. Before the merger, the two groups were in second and third place in a global comparison. Only the Chinese train company CRRC can show a higher turnover.

Web links

Commons : Alstom  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Siemens Alstom: European Commission notified of business combination ( Memento of the original from July 17, 2018 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed July 17, 2018 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Alstom Germany About us
  3.  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  4. a b Alstom takes over management at Fiat Ferroviaria. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , issue 2/2001, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 61.
  5. Noriko Hikosaka Behling: Fuel Cells - Current Technology Challenges and Future Research Needs . Elsevier , 2013, ISBN 978-0-444-56325-5 ( excerpt online from Google [accessed May 2, 2014]).
  6. Ifo Institute (Ed.): Power Plant Industry - Development and Structural Change since 1970 . Duncker & Humblot , 1987, ISBN 3-428-06351-1 ( excerpt online from Google [accessed May 2, 2014]).
  7. News update shortly . In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , Issue 9/1998, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 339.
  8. ^ Christian Huggenberg: The deep fall of the Alstom group . Handelszeitung, May 26, 2004.
  9. News update shortly. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , issue 12/2000, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 544.
  10. Alstom report with loss of billions. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International. Issue 7/2003, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 312.
  11. Announcement Alstom closes production site in England. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , Issue 8–9 / 2003, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 366.
  12. Alstom's way out of the crisis . In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , issue 11/2003, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 511.
  13. Eurostar wants to give preference to Siemens trains. In: Handelsblatt , No. 194, 2010, p. 25.
  14. Announcement Alstom renovation will be more expensive. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , issue 5/2004, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 223.
  15. Message EU approves Alstom rescue plan. In: Eisenbahn-Revue International , Issue 8–9 / 2004, ISSN  1421-2811 , p. 369.
  16. ^ Christian Schubert: The new TGV is called AGV. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , No. 31 of February 6, 2008, p. 14.
  17. France puts new ICE competitor on the rails. (FAZ.NET video)
  18. ^ Alstom et GE dans une course de vitesse. Les Echos, April 25, 2014, accessed April 26, 2014 (French).
  19. ^ Industrial group: France adopts Lex Alstom . ( [accessed April 19, 2017]).
  20. ^ GE-Alstom deal - Alstom. In: Retrieved January 11, 2016 .
  21. Triton Press - Triton completes acquisition of the “ARVOS Group”, the steam auxiliary components business of Alstom's Thermal Power division. Retrieved September 28, 2017 .
  22. a b Chris Jackson: 'We want to be the number one' . In: Railway Gazette International . tape 172 , no. 2 , 2016, ISSN  0373-5346 , p. 38-41 .
  23. a b c Alstom and Siemens: Creation of a global leader in Mobility ( Memento from September 28, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) , joint presentation from September 27, 2017 (English, pdf), accessed on September 28, 2017
  24. EU Commission prohibits rail mergers. ORF , February 6, 2019, accessed on February 6, 2019
  25. ^ L'union Siemens Alstom est sur les rails, accessed on September 28, 2017 (French)
  26. Siemens wants to slow down China's trains with Alstom, accessed on September 28, 2017
  27. Siemens and Alstom are working on "Airbus der Schiene", from September 25, 2017
  28. Le Monde: Sous le feu des critiques, le gouvernement se défend d'avoir bradé Alstom , September 28, 2018 (French)
  29. Alstom wants to take over train business from Bombardier, February 18, 2020, accessed February 18, 2020.
  30. ^ Railway industry: EU Commission approves merger of Bombardier and Alstom. Accessed July 31, 2020 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 53 ′ 47 "  N , 2 ° 16 ′ 25"  E