August 14, 2014 / 3:49 PM / 4 years ago

Electrolux in talks to buy GE's appliances business

General Electric Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt chats attends a visit at the gas turbines production unit of the GE plant in Belfort, June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - World number two home appliances maker Electrolux said on Thursday it was in talks to buy General Electric’s household appliances business.

People familiar with the matter had said earlier in the day that GE was in talks with the Swedish group and other parties to sell the unit.

“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.

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, the sources said.

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.

Bloomberg News earlier reported that GE’s appliances unit had drawn interest from Electrolux and consumer development startup Quirky.

Electrolux, which sells under brands such as Frigidaire, AEG and Zanussi as well as its own name, declined to comment further.

Representatives for GE did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Electrolux last month posted better quarterly profits than expected and stuck to forecasts for growth in its home region Europe, after years of gloom, and in the United States.

Reporting by Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm and Christine Murray and Soyoung Kim in New York; Editing by Erica Billingham

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