Screenshot of GE Appliances website.

Federal regulators have given General Electric the go-ahead to sell its Louisville-based appliances division to Qingdao Haier.

The companies had announced in January that China-based Haier would acquire GE Appliances for $5.4 billion, pending regulatory review.

GE said Thursday morning that it “has received notice from the Department of Justice that it has completed its review of the proposed transaction”

GE spokeswoman Kim Freeman said via email that the notice “is an important step toward closing the transaction.”

The companies still expect to complete the deal in the middle of this year.

Under the deal announced in January, the appliance unit’s headquarters will remain in Louisville, where about half of its 12,000 employees work.

GE has been trying to sell the appliance business because it wants to focus on being an infrastructure and technology company.

GE recently terminated an agreement to sell the unit to Sweden-based AB Electrolux. The DoJ had sued to stop the $3.3 billion acquisition because it feared a loss of competition and higher prices in the appliance industry.

Boris Ladwig
Boris Ladwig is a reporter with more than 20 years of experience and has won awards from multiple journalism organizations in Indiana and Kentucky for feature series, news, First Amendment/community affairs, nondeadline news, criminal justice, business and investigative reporting. As part of The (Columbus, Indiana) Republic’s staff, he also won the Kent Cooper award, the top honor given by the Associated Press Managing Editors for the best overall news writing in the state. A graduate of Indiana State University, he is a soccer aficionado (Borussia Dortmund and 1. FC Köln), singer and travel enthusiast who has visited countries on five continents. He speaks fluent German, rudimentary French and bits of Spanish, Italian, Khmer and Mandarin.