Sweden's Electrolux is buying the appliances business of General Electric for $3.3 billion, boosting its presence on the North American market, the companies announced today. The acquisition is the largest ever for Stockholm-based Electrolux, ranked as the world's second-biggest home appliance-maker after US rival Whirlpool. GE confirmed last month it was in talks to sell its appliances division—maker of the first electric toaster more than 100 years ago—as part of its effort to focus on selling more complex and profitable industrial equipment.
Electrolux CEO Keith McLoughlin says the move, which needs regulatory approval and is expected to be completed in 2015, "takes our company to a new level in terms of global reach and market coverage." Adds GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt in a joint statement from the two companies, "GE Appliances' people, valuable home appliances brand, products, distribution, and service capabilities make it a perfect fit with Electrolux and its goal of accelerating growth in the US." Other than its own brand, Electrolux sells under the Zanussi, AEG, Frigidaire, and Eureka trademarks. (Read more General Electric stories.)