Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is eyeing Alstom's energy assets, could also pick up a stake in the troubled French group, according to media reports.

Financial daily Les Echos said Mitsubishi is considering buying a portion of French conglomerate Bouygues's 29% stake in Alstom.

Mitsubishi, which is examining a joint bid for Alstom's energy assets with Germany's Siemens, could acquire Alstom's steam turbines division while Siemens could take over its gas turbines unit.

Siemens could contribute its transport assets to Alstom, Les Echos added.

The French daily Le Figaro said Mitsubishi will propose an alliance with Alstom modelled on the Renault-Nissan alliance, which will involve Mitsubishi picking up a minority stake in Alstom's power division, excluding grids, or even buying a part of Bouygues's stake.

Siemens could offer to buy Alstom's gas turbines arm and give Alstom its rail transport business, Le Figaro added.

The French government met on 12 June to debate the engineering group's fate.

Earlier on 12 June, Japan's Hitachi said it hoped to join peer Mitsubishi and Siemens in their planned joint bid for Alstom's power assets, which Japanese daily Nikkei said could be worth $9.8bn (£5.8bn, €7.2bn).

A three-party bid could better help repel a near $17bn rival offer by General Electric (GE).

Hitachi and Mitsubishi already share a working relationship – the two manufacturers merged their thermal power units earlier in the year.

Earlier, Siemens and Mitsubishi said they expected to take a decision on the submission of a proposal to Alstom's board of directors by 16 June.