Haier Inks Deal to Buy GE Appliances

Jan 29 2016 - 11:25am

General Electric announced in January 2016 that it has signed a “definitive agreement” to sell GE Appliances for $5.4 billion this summer to Haier, a global consumer electronics company based in China.

"The GE Appliances headquarters and largest manufacturing operations will stay in Louisville, KY, and the GE Appliances leadership team will remain intact,” says Chip Blankenship, president and CEO of GE Appliances.

Reuters reports Haier CEO Zhang Ruimin had tried twice before to "clinch transformative US deals" but was beaten by Whirpool in a 2005 bid for Maytag, and decided against a 2008 takeover of GE Appliances.

Haier touts itself as the world's biggest, large household appliance brand, with a 10.2 percent global market share, and also has businesses in communications, logistics, finance and real estate. Reuters reports that Samsung also was among six bidders vying for GE Appliances since US antitrust regulators blocked the sale of GE Appliances to Sweden-based Electrolux for $3.3 billion in December 2015.

GE Appliances' parent company, General Electric, which is marking its 100th anniversary, will begin moving its corporate headquarters this summer from Fairfield, CT to Boston. The transition is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.