Report: GE getting out of appliance business
Will auction off operations expected to fetch as much as $8 billion
The Associated Press
updated 7:02 p.m. ET, Wed., May. 14, 2008
FAIRFIELD, Conn. - General Electric Co. plans to auction off its appliances business, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
GE has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to run an auction for the appliance division, according to the newspaper, which quoted unidentified sources. The sale could yield between $5 billion and $8 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Spokesmen for the Fairfield-based industrial conglomerate and Goldman Sachs would not comment.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and GE's NBC Universal unit.)
GE last year took in $11.6 billion in its sale of its plastics division. Chief Executive Jeff Immelt has been under pressure to restructure the industrial and financial conglomerate, particularly since last month's surprising report that profit fell 6 percent in the first quarter.
At the time, Immelt brushed off questions about GE spinning off businesses. He said shortly after the earnings report that GE has already sold businesses valued at between $50 billion and $60 billion in what he called the "most active portfolio change in the history of the company."
Immelt also has rejected calls for GE to divest itself of NBC Universal.
GE entered the appliance business in 1907. Revenue for GE’s Louisville, Ky.-based industrial business, which includes appliance manufacturing, was nearly $17.73 billion in 2007, down slightly from $17.74 billion in 2006.
Total revenue for GE last year was $172.7 billion.
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