Nicolas Véron

Even after “Losing” Alstom, France Has More Corporate Champions than Most

The bid from General Electric (GE), a leading US-headquartered conglomerate, for the power division of Alstom, a maker of turbines and trains, has prompted much soul-searching in France. Alstom’s acceptance of GE’s bid  is widely seen in France as symbolic of the country’s relative decline. The argument is that the glorious France of yesteryear could muster an array of vigorous national corporate champions, but these are disappearing or leaving the French territory one after the other. The same litany of loss is repeated again and again. Pechiney, an aluminium producer, was purchased by Canada’s Alcan in 2003. Arcelor, the heir…

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