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The eco brief. Takeover of Bombardier by Alstom: France has a new global railway giant


Presentation of the new train-tram supplied by Alstom to the Île-de-France region, September 18, 2020 in Petite-Forêt, in the North (FRANCOIS LO PRESTI / AFP)

In the new entity, we baptized this Monday, February 1, “Day One” (day one). The health crisis will not have prevented the completion of the Bombardier buyout operation long prepared by Alstom and which allows the group to become world number two in the construction of trains, behind the Chinese CRRC. Alstom plus Bombardier, this is a combined turnover of 15 to 16 billion euros and 75 000 employees in 70 country. The boss Henri Poupart-Lafarge promises that there will be no social damage. It has a little taste of revenge since Alstom now overtakes the German Siemens Mobility with whom it was to merge before the European Commission vetoed the operation last year.

Bombardier will offer Alstom the opportunity to meet the growing demand for trains around the world, despite the crisis. Mobility and transport, two issues linked by the same objective of sustainable and intelligent travel: sustainable in the sense of the environment, intelligent in the sense of new technologies. Alstom masters the manufacture of hydrogen trains and has already sold them to Germany, which is the preserve of local Siemens. But the French are also present in Italy, Spain and India. Bombardier will provide it with sites in the United Kingdom and China, not to mention that Bombardier won the call for tenders for the new RER B in the Paris region.

To seize Bombardier, Alstom put 5.5 billion euros on the table, between the takeover of the transport activities of the Canadian and the filling of a negative cash flow. For Bombardier in difficulty, selling its rail branch will allow it to refocus on business jets.

This operation is good news for the Hauts-de-France region: Bombardier Transport has the largest railway plant in France with 2 000 employees in the town of Crespin in the North department recently damaged by the Bridgestone case.

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