Initial bids for General Electric Co.’s Louisville-based appliance business are expected this week, Bloomberg has reported, citing “people familiar with the matter.”
Earlier this month, GE pulled the plug on the division’s proposed $3.3 billion sale to Sweden-based AB Electrolux as an antitrust trial was about to go into its fifth week.
Regulators had objected to the deal because they feared it would create a duopoly, in which Electrolux and Whirlpool would control virtually all of the appliance market.
GE Appliances’ 900-acre Louisville campus employs about 6,000 people who make household products including dishwashers, refrigerators and water heaters.
General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt said in an investor conference on Wednesday that the company plans to sell the appliance division early next year.
A University of Louisville professor had told IL that given antitrust regulators’ opposition to the acquisition by Electrolux, the next potential buyer likely would be a smaller company that is trying to enter the U.S. market.
Bloomberg reported that its sources said the China-based multinational Haier Group is considering an offer. According to its website, the company is the world’s largest appliance maker and sells products in more than 100 countries — though it has a limited presence in the U.S.