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UPDATE 2-General Electric to cut 4,500 jobs in Europe -source

UPDATE 2-General Electric to cut 4,500 jobs in Europe -source
From Reuters - December 6, 2017

(Reuters) - General Electric Co (GE.N) plans to cut as many as 4,500 jobs in Europe as the U.S. industrial conglomerate shrinks its troubled power generation business, a labor union source said on Tuesday.

The cuts, which are linked to businesses GE bought from Frances Alstom (ALSO.PA) in 2015, will affect employees in Switzerland, Germany and Britain, said French newspaper Les Echos, which first reported the news on Tuesday.

The union source confirmed the layoff numbers to Reuters on Wednesday and said an official announcement was expected as early as Thursday.

GE did not confirm the numbers but said it was reviewing its operations to ensure the business is best positioned to respond to our market realities and for long-term success. The company had presented a proposal to the European body representing legacy Alstom employees, it added.

Last month, GE Power Chief Executive Russell Stokes said the company could reduce its global footprint by 30 percent.

GE shares were down less than 1 percent on Wednesday afternoon. The stock has fallen about 44 percent since the start of the year and is the year's worst performer on the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI.

GE acquired about 65,000 Alstom employees, $20 billion in annual revenue and dozens of field offices and manufacturing sites around the world when it bought the power assets of the French company in 2015, according to regulatory filings and presentations at the time.

The acquisition rounded out GEs Power portfolio by adding steam turbine capabilities, adding to GEs mostly natural gas turbine power business. It also gave GE a larger installed base of plants to service. But the deal came just as demand for new power plants was slowing, in part due to competition from cost-competitive wind and solar systems.

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