Siemens has offered to buy Alstom's gas turbines business for €3.9bn in cash while MHI would buy stakes in Alstom's power assets including steam and nuclear power (40%), hydroelectric power equipment (20%), and grid (20%) which would be held in separate joint ventures. MHI would inject €3.1bn in cash into Alstom and also offer to take up a 10% stake in Alstom from Bouygues, the company's primary shareholder with a 29.4% stake.

"Alstom would remain an independent energy and transport player with a strong brand," say Siemens chief executive Mr Joe Kaeser. "Its energy business would be strengthened through the partner MHI and we intend to explore opportunities with Alstom to create a European rail champion for the world market."

Siemens says it "intends to study in good faith" solutions to create a rail champion by combining assets. However, it stops short of promising that a deal would happen. According to reports, Alstom has not shown any interest in Siemens' rolling stock division, with its board, and chief executive Mr Patrick Kron in particular, said to still prefer the €12.4n bid made by GE, which it accepted on April 29. Accepting another bid would trigger a 1.5% breakup fee to GE.

With a June 23 deadline set by GE for acceptance of its offer fast approaching, the race for Alstom has entered a crucial period.

The French government is seeking to preserve Alstom, which employs 18,000 people in France, as a player in transport and energy at a time when unemployment remains above 10% and voters are increasingly turning to the far right. It has openly criticised GE's proposal ever since its offer became public at the end of April and has actively encouraged a rival bid from Siemens while giving itself the power to veto the deal.

Siemens hopes its bid would allay government fears on the future of Alstom. It says that its offer includes a three-year job guarantee and that it intends to create 1000 jobs in France, matching GE's commitment. Kaeser was set to present the plans to French president Mr François Hollande on Tuesday morning and the lower house of parliament on Tuesday afternoon.

"Our concept preserves Alstom almost as it is," a senior Siemens executive told The Financial Times. "There is no dismantling and no bloodbath, but a concentration on growth. This is not about the money, it is about a long-term partnership, preserving a French icon."

With analysts estimating that the Siemens-MHI bid to be worth around €1bn more than GE's offer, GE says it is preparing to offer fresh concessions, but that it won't be forced into a bidding war.

The Financial Times says GE plans to bolster existing commitments to protect French jobs and allow the French government the option to increase French investment in the company if the deal was approved.

GE has been on a charm offensive recently in France through advertisements in the domestic press stating how its proposed "alliance" with Alstom would create global energy leader based in France while strengthening Alstom's transport business.

French finance minister Mr Michel Sapin says Alstom and the government would examine both offers once they are on the table and base their final decision on that.