AMERICAN firm General Electric has extended its deadline to complete a deal to buy Alstom’s energy operation by three weeks to June 23.
The move comes after the French government voiced concerns about the takeover.
And it potentially give German rival Siemens more time to mount a rival bid for Alstom, which has a major base in Stafford
GE agreed to prolong the consideration of its offer by Alstom's board from the original deadline of June 2. The extension comes at the request of the French government, GE said.
France’s economy minister Arnaud Montebourg has described the GE bid as "unacceptable" and a threat to France's economic sovereignty.
GE said it was extending the deadline to "facilitate ongoing discussions with the government" about its concerns.
Siemens has not yet submitted a formal bid for Alstom, but an offer is thought to be in the pipeline.
Industry analysts have said a rival bid from Siemens would be likely to mean a protracted process before any takeover was decided on by the Alstom board.
Mr Montebourg has also warned last week that the French government may need more time to evaluate how a GE takeover of Alstom would affect issues of national sovereignty.