DealZone

GE’s Immelt: Wasn’t “naive” on Areva bid

GE/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.”

Deals du Jour

An employee checks a halogen low energy consumption light bulb at an Osram factory in Molsheim, eastern France December 11, 2008. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler (FRANCE)Japan’s Toshiba Corp (6502.T) is lining up a bid for French nuclear group Areva’s (CEPFi.PA) power grid that could be worth over $5 billion according to Reuters sources.

The private banking assets of Dutch bank ING (ING.AS) are the subject of up to five bids which may reach $2 billion, sources familiar with the deal said. Swiss firm Julius Baer (BAER.VX) and Singapore’s DBS (DBSM.SI) have been identified to Reuters as definite bidders in the process.

For more from Reuters on the latest deals, click here.

Below is a round-up of all the market chatter from the press on Friday:

* AIG (AIG.N) will likely now announce the buyer of its Taiwan Nan Shan Life unit at the end of September instead of on Friday, Chinese-language newspaper Commercial Times reported, after potential buyers bid below the $2 billion the insurer had hoped for.