As GE officials have talked up their post-NBC M&A strategy over the past few weeks, they keep coming back to the one that got away — French nuclear reactor maker Areva’s transmission and distribution business. Areva in November decided not to accept bids from U.S. conglomerate General Electric Co or Japanese industrial Toshiba in favor of a bid from a French consortium, in a move that many saw as politically influenced.
GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt told investors on Tuesday he was not surprised by that turn of events. “We were never naive about where Areva was going to go,” Immelt said. “We were in but we were not stupid.”