NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Siemens AG (SIEGY) are trading with heavy volume today after it was reported that the company is working on a formal asset-swap offer for Alstom's power business that could come as early as this week and see France take a stake in a resulting rail-focused French group, sources told Reuters.
Alstom is in talks General Electric (GE) about a $16.9 billion bid for its power arm, which it is expected to review by June 2. But the company is under strong political pressure and has opened its books to Siemens so it can propose its own deal if it wants to, Reuters noted.
Some sources familiar with the talks cast doubt on whether Alstom would be interested in the new deal sketched out by Siemens. Still, a rival offer would give the French government more leverage with GE after it gave itself the power to block foreign takeovers in "strategic sectors," Reuters said.
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