French conglomerate Bouygues announced it raised its stake in power engineering group Alstom to 30.07 percent, against the backdrop of speculation the two companies might strengthen their ties.
“Bouygues took advantage of market opportunities to acquire Alstom shares in recent months,� Bouygues said October 5. �Bouygues’ stake in Alstom thus increased from 25.35 percent at 30 June 2007 to 30.07 percent at 5 October 2007.”
The election this year of French President Nicolas Sarkozy has led to new market speculation of a possible tie-up between Bouygyes, Alstom, and French state-controlled nuclear group Areva.
In 2006, Bouygues agreed to buy the French government’s 21 percent stake in Alstom and to assume a 50 percent share of Alstom’s hydropower equipment business. (HNN 5/1/06) Bouygues — which has units in construction, telecommunications, road works, property development, and media — agreed at that time to pay 2 billion euros (US$2.48 billion) for a share of Alstom that France acquired in 2004.
The companies’ joint hydropower venture, Alstom Hydro, recently won major contracts to supply equipment to Vietnam’s 2,400-MW Son La project (HNN 10/2/07) and Brazil’s 1,087-MW Estreito project. (HNN 7/10/07)