The desire of Alstom to take control of the activity of rail signalling Thales have turned short. Following the release on Tuesday of several articles in the press referring to this project and the support that would bring the Agency of the interests of the State, a government source told the Reuters news agency that the subject was no longer the order of the day. The railway builder, for its part, recognizes a long-standing interest in the activity signaling Thales, but denies firmly have mandated an investment bank to devise a scenario of acquisition. This event has all the same seemed sufficiently tangible to Patrice Caine to he goes up personally at the front. The CEO of Thales, according to ” The World & #8220;, written on Monday, François Hollande and Manuel Valls to mean that he was not the seller.
He received the public support of Dassault Aviation, which holds 25 % of the capital of Thales and to the sides of the State (26 %). the ” The railway signal is in the “core-business” activities of Thales, who is in charge of the development of large-scale systems in many areas, said Eric Trappier, the CEO of the aeronautics group to ” Echos “. in Therefore, the shareholder Dassault Aviation supports the management in the wish to retain this activity. “
The reasons why Alstom want to develop the rail signalling Thales are known. The industry wants to continue to strengthen in an activity that displays a superior profitability to the construction of trains or subways, the core business of the group. In addition, the growth prospects of this market, which weighed in at 14 billion euros in 2015, are very favourable. But another reason may be seen the day these past few weeks. To withstand the chinese competition, very aggressive on the price, Alstom is placing on its ability to offer customers integrated solutions, which include sale of equipment, but also maintenance and railway signaling. The latter domain requires a know-how complex that competitors emerging, for the time being, have not mastered.
However, Thales has concluded a trade agreement with the chinese manufacturer CRRC to be her partner on some tenders. This agreement, which is in no way exclusive, offers to Thales of new opportunities. But he denies, on the other hand, Alstom is one of its competitive advantages with its rival in asia. By taking control of the transport activity of Thales, the French company could also dispose of this partnership, and keep, for some time, ahead of the Chinese on this niche.
Lionel Steinmann, Les Echos