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GE backs out of deal to sell

12/10/2015
General Electric said Monday that it is backing out of a plan to sell its appliance division to Electrolux for $3.3 billion. 
 

General Electric said Monday that it is backing out of a plan to sell its appliance division to Electrolux for $3.3 billion. The Justice Department sought to block the deal.

Roper, a fully owned subsidiary of GE, would have been included in the deal and GE officials said Monday that its LaFayette plant, which employees about 1,500 workers, will continue producing a full line of products even as a new buyer is sought for the appliance division.

GE has asked to be paid a $175 million breakup fee, both companies said.

It would have been the biggest acquisition ever for Electrolux, the Swedish manufacturer with its North American headquarters in Charlotte, N.C. The deal would have made Electrolux surpass Whirlpool as the world’s largest appliance maker.

Electrolux said it made “extensive efforts to obtain regulatory approvals from the Justice Department and regrets that GE has terminated the agreement.”

Electrolux agreed in September 2014 to acquire GE’s Louisville, Ky.-based appliance unit. But this summer, the Justice Department sued, saying the merger would result in the companies dominating the U.S. cooking appliance market, alongside competitor Whirlpool, and creating what’s known as a duopoly.

For consumers, that would mean higher prices on appliances, federal authorities said.

“We disagree with the Department of Justice’s narrow view on a transaction that would have benefited consumers. The appliances market is dynamic and highly competitive,” GE spokesman Seth Martin said in an emailed statement.

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