European Commission Approves Alstom’s Acquisition of Bombardier Transportation

July 31, 2020

Cleary Gottlieb represented Alstom in obtaining expeditious EU clearance of its acquisition of Bombardier Transportation.

The European Commission (EC) approved Alstom’s acquisition of Bombardier’s rail transport division on July 31, 2020, following a Phase I investigation. The conditional approval followed only two months of pre-notification. This was one of the first complex deals to be cleared during the COVID-19 pandemic. The approval comes only 18 months after the EC’s prohibition of Siemens/Alstom.

Despite the parties having largely overlapping activities, the concerns identified in the EC’s decision were limited to very high-speed and mainline rolling stock and certain parts of mainline signaling. The parties addressed these with limited but clear-cut remedies. Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, stressed that these remedies enabled the EC to speedily review and approve the transaction.

The transaction remains subject to further regulatory approvals in several other jurisdictions and customary closing conditions. Closing of the acquisition is expected for the first half of 2021.