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Alstom looking to sell stake in transport arm

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Alstom has announced it is to look into selling off a minority stake in its transport division in an attempt to strengthen the company’s balance sheet.

Chief executive Patrick Kron revealed the plans today (November 6) while declaring Alstom’s half-year results.

As well as selling part of the business to an industrial partner or financial investor, Alstom is looking to offload non-strategic assets, with a view to generating between €1 and 2 billion by December 2014

Alstom said the move would allow the company to ‘increase financial flexibility and enable strategic mobility’.

The planned restructuring is due to forecasts of lower sales than those predicted 18 months ago and a prospect of low to moderate growth in the medium term.

Alstom Transport recorded orders worth €2.9 billion in the first half of this year, down on the ‘exceptionally high level of contracts’ in H1 2012/13. Contracts include orders for high-speed and intercity rolling stock in France and the resignalling of the Great Western mainline in the UK.

Despite signing a contract worth €1.2 billion for 600 new trains for South Africa, Alstom said that although there was a good flow of small and medium-sized orders the first half of the year was lacking in major contracts.

Across the whole group Alstom received orders of €9.4 billion, just over 20 per cent less than the same period last year.

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