GE Restarts Auction for Appliance Business

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Five years after a failed attempt to sell its appliance unit, both General Electric (GE) and a suitor each confirmed Thursday that the company is trying again to shed the massive operation.

Sweden's Electrolux on Thursday said that it is in discussions with Fairfield, Conn.-based GE about the conglomerate's appliance business, adding that no agreement has been reached. A GE spokesperson, meanwhile, said that the company "is reviewing strategic options for GE Appliances and is in talks with Electrolux and other parties," but provided no further details.

Analysts have estimated the Louisville, Ky.-based GE Appliance business could be worth upwards of $2.5 billion in an auction.

While no other bidders for the business have publicly come forward, reports have also said a partnership between New York-based consumer product firm Quirky and private equity giant Blackstone Group (BX) is also working on a bid, and analysts say other private equity firms could join the fray.

Quirky earlier this year announced an agreement with GE to work on an app that would control smart devices, including appliances.

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