* GE says in talks with Electrolux and other parties
* GE unit could be worth $2-$2.5 bln - sources
(Adds GE statement)
By Anna Ringstrom and Soyoung Kim
STOCKHOLM/NEW YORK, Aug 14 World number two home
appliances maker Electrolux said it was in talks to
buy General Electric's household appliances business,
seeking to increase its foothold in North America which is
growing faster than its other main markets in Europe.
GE confirmed it is evaluating strategic options for the home
appliances business, including discussions with the Swedish
group and other interested parties.
New York start-up Quirky, which has partnered with GE to
market smart-home products, is another suitor for the GE
business and is working with an investment bank to put together
a bid, one person familiar with the matter said.
"AB Electrolux today confirmed that it is in discussions
regarding a possible acquisition of the appliances business of
GE. No agreement has been reached," Electrolux, a smaller rival
to Whirlpool, said in a statement on Thursday.
GE's home appliances business, which sells products under
the GE Monogram, GE Cafe and Hotpoint brands, could be worth
between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, according to people
familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because they
were not authorized to speak with the media.
The U.S. diversified conglomerate is trying to sell its home
appliances unit as Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt seeks to
allocate resources to higher-growth businesses.
The unit is almost exclusively focused on the U.S. market
and lacks a global scale, and GE believes it could be more
valuable when being part of a global appliances group such as
Electrolux, said one person familiar with the divestiture plan.
Electrolux, which sells under brands such as Frigidaire, AEG
and Zanussi as well as its own name, declined to comment
further. Quirky did not immediately respond to requests for
After suffering from weak economies and currencies in Europe
and Brazil that cost cuts and improvement in the North American
market could not offset, Electrolux has seen European demand
start to recover this year albeit still lagging North America.
In 2013, western Europe accounted for 28 percent of group
sales while North America represented 32 percent. Organic growth
in North America was 7 percent while in Europe it was 0.4
GE's appliances and lighting division had $8.3 billion in
revenues in 2013 out of total industrial revenues of 103.6
(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom and Mia Shanley in Stockholm and
Christine Murray and Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Erica
Billingham and Chizu Nomiyama)