(Reuters) – Alstom Group said on Wednesday it was considering a capital increase, job cuts and asset sales as part of a series of efforts to reduce its debt and ease consumer concerns. investors.

The stock’s quotation, which began a few minutes late, ended down 15.03%.

“Alstom’s negative free cash flow during this first half constitutes a clear call for change,” said the group’s CEO in a press release.

“Although demand remains at a sustained level, despite some volatility, our commercial performance has been weak,” added Henri Poupart-Lafarge in a press release.

Alstom is considering a capital increase even if it is not the preferred option, the group’s CEO told analysts, expressing concern that asset sales would not be sufficient.

“We felt with the board of directors that there was a risk that this would not be sufficient,” said Henri Poupart-Lafarge, who will leave his position as chairman of the board of directors while retaining his role as chairman. general manager.

Alstom said its Alstom board would propose appointing Philippe Petitcolin, former chief executive of Safran, as chairman.

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), which owns 17% of Alstom, said it supported the French group’s approach.

“Alstom is undertaking a necessary action plan – both operationally and financially. We support it and will closely monitor its implementation,” the Canadian fund said in a statement sent to Reuters.

“We also welcome the measures taken to improve governance, including the arrival of Philippe Petitcolin,” he added.

Alstom’s management has been under pressure since the group significantly downgraded its annual FCF forecast in October.

It announced an asset disposal program aimed at generating between 500 million and 1 billion euros, as well as its intention to eliminate around 1,500 positions in order to achieve its medium-term objectives.

Alstom plans to reduce its net debt by 2 billion euros by March 2025. As of September 30, the group reported net debt of 3.43 billion euros.

The group will propose not to pay a dividend for the current fiscal year.

(Report by Olivier Sorgho, written by Augustin Turpin and Lina Golovnya, edited by Kate Entringer and Jean Terzian)

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