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Siemens, Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology - sources

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Siemens, Alstom offer to sell high-speed train technology - sources
FILE PHOTO: Henri Poupart-Lafarge (right), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alstom, and Siemens President and CEO Joe Kaeser announcing their deal to merge their rail operations, in Paris, France, September 27, 2017. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/   -   Copyright  Stephane Mahe(Reuters)
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By Foo Yun Chee and Jörn Poltz

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Siemens <SIEGn.DE> and Alstom <ALSO.PA> have offered to sell either one of their high-speed train technology to address EU antitrust concerns about their plan to create a Franco-German rail champion, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The other element of their proposal to the European Commission includes selling the bulk of Alstom’s signalling business in Europe in addition to some Siemens signalling assets, one of the people said.

German industrial group Siemens and French rival Alstom put in their offer last week, saying that it was made up mainly of signalling activities and stock products which made up around 4 percent of the sales of the combined company.

The companies have offered to divest either Alstom’s Pendolino platform or Siemens’ Velaro Novo platform, the people said.

Pendolino, which features a tilting technology that results in less braking before bends, is tailored for high-speed and conventional lines. Pendolino trains have been sold to 12 operators in 12 countries. Siemens’ Velaro Novo high-speed trains, on the other hand, will only enter service in 2023.

The proposal includes a five-year licence to sell the trains in Europe.

The signalling assets on offer include three-quarters of Alstom’s signalling business in Europe, one of the people said. The package includes signalling for urban transport, mainline trains and conventional trains.

The Commission has given rivals and customers this week to provide feedback. A negative response could prompt it to demand more concessions from Siemens and Alstom before it makes a ruling by Feb. 18.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)

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