GE and Alstom
How to open doors and influence people in France
Indispensable for Immelt
THERE is a lull before the renewed storm in the battle for Alstom, a French group whose turbines power generators around the world and whose high-speed trains sprint across the countryside. Too small to compete in a tough global market, Alstom had all but agreed to sell its energy operations to General Electric, an American conglomerate with complementary interests. Fearing a loss of jobs, France's government encouraged Siemens, a German firm, to take a different tack, offering to swap its transport activities for Alstom's energy operations and turning the rivals into a pair of European champions. Siemens says it may see its way to making a firm offer by June 16th. Meanwhile GE is in and out of the Elysee palace, chatting with President Franois Hollande and his aides, improving its offer in the light of their concerns and, it seems, winning supporters.
这是阿尔斯通争夺战的风暴卷土重来前的宁静 。阿尔斯通作为一家法国集团，它的涡轮机组为全球的发电机提供电力，而它生产的高铁也疾驰在乡间 。在残酷的全球市场下太过于微不足道，阿尔斯通除了把它的能源运营部分出售给美国综合性集团通用电气之外别无选择 。担心失业，法国政府鼓励德国企业西门子采取一项不同的措施—提出用西门子的交通活动来交换阿尔斯通的能源经营部分以此将对手分成一对欧洲的盟友 。西门子称其会在6月16号根据具体情况发出实盘 。同时通用电气也在积极与爱丽舍宫方面联系，通过与法国总统奥朗德以及其助手沟通,根据他们关心的方面进行发盘的改进，这好像是在赢取支持者 。
All this says something about how France operates and how foreign firms must adapt to it. Political support for the acquisition is important, for Alstom is seen as one of France's industrial crown jewels. Even if the government hesitates to invoke the powers it conferred on itself in May to block such a deal in defence of its strategic interests, the public sector is still Alstom's main customer in France. So communication and building trust are vital.
这些都反映了法国是如何运作的并且国外企业必须适应这样的情况 。收购的政治支持是非常重要的，因为阿尔斯通被视作法国工业桂冠上的明珠之一 。即使政府犹豫五月份调用它的自己授予的能量阻止交易以保护它的战略性利益，在法国国营部门经济仍然是阿尔斯通的主要客户 。因此沟通和信任的构建是至关重要的 。
GE understands the importance of soft power. It should: it has been in France for more than 40 years, and its joint venture with France's Safran making jet engines has worked smoothly for almost as long.
通用电气理解软实力的重要性 。它应该了解：它已经在法国经营了超过40年，它和法国的赛峰集团的联合风投使得飞机引擎产业平稳运行了很多年 。
Accompanying Jeffrey Immelt, GE's boss, on his rounds in Paris is Clara Gaymard, an author and mother of nine with a quick wit, several languages and the fattest address book in town. The president of GE in France since 2006, she does not make big operational decisions. But as ambassador for the firm she is important, for she brings to the job her membership of three networks.
在其巴黎行程中陪伴着通用电气老总杰弗瑞·伊梅尔特的是克拉拉·盖马尔，她是一名作者同时也是九岁孩子的母亲，有急智、掌握多门语言、并且十分了解当地情况 。自06年起担任法国通用总裁，她并没有做大的运营决定 。但是作为这家公司的大使，她是很重要的，因为她为这项工作带来她的三个关系网络 。
The first is that bedrock of the French meritocratic establishment, the Ecole Nationale d'Administration. It churns out presidents and prime ministers along with company bosses and senior public administrators, and they are only a telephone call away from each other. Mrs Gaymard married a fellow enarque, who was briefly economy minister under Jacques Chirac until a housing scandal felled him. Mrs Gaymard's career has included a prestigious job at the Cour des Comptes, the national auditor's office, followed by a series of senior administrative posts.
第一个是法国精英建立的基石—国家行政学院 。该校培养出了总统、总理还有公司老总以及高级公共行政人员 。他们之间经常能互相联系 。盖马尔女士曾经嫁给一位国家行政学院的成员，他曾经短暂担任雅克·希拉克时期的财政部长直到因为房地产丑闻下台 。盖马尔女士曾在法国审计署、国家审计办公室担任要职，有一系列高级行政职位 。
Mrs Gaymard's three years at the head of the Invest in France agency produced her second network, consisting of many of the world's top businessmen. From 2003 to 2006 she travelled the globe, often in the company of the heads of big French companies, trying to sell the likes of Warren Buffett and Apple's Steve Jobs on France as an investment destination.
Her third network includes some of the relatively few women who are powerful in French business. Mrs Gaymard is a leading light in the Women's Forum at Deauville, an annual gathering often called “Davos for women”. So are Christine Lagarde, currently head of the International Monetary Fund, Laurence Parisot, recently retired as head of Medef, the employers' lobby, and others. The old girls' network is not as strong as the bond amongenarques but there is, as an observer puts it, “respect, and a certain solidarity”.
她的第三个网络包括一些法国商界相对较少的女强人 。盖马尔女士是多维尔女性论坛的领袖性人物，该年度聚会也被称为“女性达沃斯” 。 现任国际货币基金组织总裁克里斯蒂娜·拉加德、最近退休的雇主游说团体法国雇主协会会长劳伦斯·派瑞索女士以及其他的都是这个组织的成员 。这些老女孩的网络并不像国家行政学院那样的坚实，就像一个观察员所说的，“尊重，以及一定的稳固性” 。
What does all this add up to in practice? GE does not always get what it wants: in 2009, for example, it lost an attempt to take over state-owned Areva's power-transmission and distribution business to home-grown Schneider Electric and Alstom. And Mrs Gaymard is not GE's only emissary in its bid to win approval to buy Alstom.
这些全部运用到实践中怎么样呢？通用并不是总能得到它想要的：例如2009年，它输给了本土的施耐德电气以及阿尔斯通，失去了接管国有的阿海珐输电和配电业务的机会 。并且盖马尔女士并不是通用投标购买阿尔斯通许可行动中的唯一特使 。
Yet she may, with her insider's knowledge of how to play the game, have earned GE a slightly more sympathetic hearing in the corridors of power. While Alstom stayed mum about the talks until the news broke in April, incurring ministerial ire, Mrs Gaymard tipped off the government in February that GE was interested, a gesture that was later appreciated. Although GE's chances look good, its bid may still fail. If it does, it will not be because the firm lacked the opportunity to make its case.
但是她可能已经用她对于如何进行操作内情的熟悉，帮助通用在高层赢得了一些的同情的声音 。但是阿尔斯通知道媒体四月份曝光之前始终保持沉默，招致了内阁的愤怒，盖马尔女士安抚政府称通用对于这个项目有兴趣，这是一个在后来被赞扬的信号 。尽管通用电气看起来机会不错，它的投标仍然可能失败 。如果失败了，这不会是因为企业缺少机会导致的 。
1.agree to 同意，赞成
Sandy and john agree to unite their kingdoms.
She convinced a reluctant union to agree to a pay-for-performance system.
2.offer to 提供
If you offer to help people you'll eventually be rewarded.
After taking a day to think about the offer to mediate the talks, russia also seemed to change its tone.
3.turn into 变成,成为
Could all of this really turn into a full-fledged crisis?
Do some friendships turn into romantic relationships?
4.chat with 和...聊天
Now he would sit around and chat with the others.
Chat with friends and family...... literally!