General Electric said today that it plans to sell its Louisville-based appliance division early next year.
In documents the company filed to go with its Annual Outlook Investor Meeting, GE indicated that the business is performing well, driven in part by positive Black Friday sales at major retailers.
The company recently terminated an agreement to sell the unit to Sweden-based AB Electrolux. Federal regulators had sued to stop the $3.3 billion acquisition because they feared a loss of competition and higher prices in the appliance industry.
Jeffrey Immelt, GE’s CEO, said in the investor meeting today that while the failed acquisition was “disappointing,” the company still plans to sell the business — though he acknowledged that he has been saying that in previous annual investor meetings.
“One of these meetings, I’ll be right,” he said with a laugh.
GE has said it would continue to try to sell the appliance business because it does not fit into the company’s plan to focus on being an infrastructure and technology company.
GE Appliances employs about 12,000, including about 6,000 at its 900-acre Louisville campus, which manufactures household products including dishwashers, refrigerators and hot water heaters.
GE’s presentation today indicated that the unit had received significant interest from more than five serious buyers. GE said it expects to “sign & close (a deal) early in 2016.” The company also said that it expects a “smoother regulatory process.”