Alstom has announced that it has received an offer from General Electric (GE) to buy the French engineering firm’s energy activities.

It’s the first firm offer for Alstom’s energy business since rumours about a possible buyout surfaced last week.

As well as GE, Alstom has confirmed interest from Siemens, giving the German manufacturer access to the company’s data rooms to carry out due diligence before making any offer.

Confirming the offer from GE, Alstom said that were it to offload its energy business, it would “refocus” on developing its role in the transport market.

The binding offer means Alstom cannot solicit any third party offers. The company can, however, respond to unsolicited offers for the entire energy arm of the business.

Patrick Kron, chairman and chief executive of Alstom, said: “The combination of the very complementary Energy businesses of Alstom and GE would create a more competitive entity to better service customer needs. Alstom’s employees would join a well-known, major global player, with the means to invest in people and technology to support worldwide energy customers over the long term.

“The proposed transaction would allow Alstom to develop its Transport business as a standalone company, with a strong balance sheet to capitalise on opportunities in the dynamic rail transport market.”

Headquartered in St Ouen, the Transport business generated €5.5bn of sales in fiscal year 2012/13, is present in 60 countries and has 27,000 employees including 9,000 in France.

“Thanks to its recognised technological leadership, global industrial footprint combined with a robust balance sheet, Alstom Transport would be ideally placed to capture growth opportunities in this dynamic market.” stated Henri Poupart-Lafarge, president of Alstom Transport.

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