December 7, 2017 / 4:22 PM / a year ago

General Electric says France to be spared power business job cuts

ZURICH (Reuters) - General Electric’s decision to axe 12,000 jobs from its struggling power business will not hit its French operations, a senior GE executive told Reuters on Thursday.

“When GE bought Alstom Energy there was a contractual requirement and commitment to the French government that France would not be affected by reductions for a certain period of time,” Michael Rechsteiner, the head of GE Power Services Europe, said in a telephone interview after the job cuts news.

“We are honouring our commitment.”

GE spent 9.7 billion euros (£8.6 billion)(then worth $10.7 billion) in 2015 to buy the energy business of France’s Alstom. The deal aimed to round out GE Power’s portfolio by adding steam turbine capabilities to its mainly natural gas turbine power business.

Rechsteiner defended the purchase.

“What we really like about Alstom is the installed base, the services business and the capability in the steam world, and in the [engineering] world,” he said.

“They were and still are really complementary to our GE capabilities. The Alstom deal still does make a lot of sense.”

Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Michael Shields

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