GE just announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell GE Appliances to Electrolux. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in 2015. For more information, please read the press releases from GE and Electrolux.
This announcement is a very positive and important next step to ensure the long-term success of GE Appliances. But before I share more on that topic, I want to address why many of you will be receiving this message in the middle of the night, U.S. time. I would have liked to share this information with you before you heard about it from other sources. However, due to reporting obligations that Electrolux has as a member of the Stockholm Stock Exchange, they were required to announce the transaction at the beginning of their workday, which triggered our communication outreach. Beginning today and through the deal close, we will share information with you as it becomes available and in a variety of ways. For starters, bookmark this Support Central site where we have posted today’s announcements, some Q&As, and information about the closing and regulatory process.
A New Business Model for Continued Success
Through the hard work of this team and the investment from GE, we have become stronger and more capable of delivering for customers and consumers with transformed products and U.S. factories. At the same time, competition in the U.S. appliance industry has accelerated and the space has become more crowded with many choices for consumers. Those dynamics made it clear that while we made progress, further steps were required to ensure long-term success of GE Appliances.
Electrolux, a company whose sole focus is being a global leader in appliances, is the right business partner to ensure our long-term presence and competitiveness. By joining together – with Electrolux’s global reach, both businesses’ complementary brands, and our shared focus on innovation and quality – we will be better positioned to compete in a hypercompetitive, U.S. market. Bringing GE Appliances and Electrolux resources and capability together will allow us to serve customers and consumers better.
I think one of the most exciting things about this deal is that when it closes, we will be part of a company whose vision is to be the best appliance company in the world. We have had a storied history as part of GE, of which we can all be proud. With our business moving to Electrolux, GE will move closer to its strategy to become a pure-play infrastructure and technology company, with a specialty finance business. And, we will be able to focus on what we do best: design, manufacture and sell the innovative, high quality GE appliances that consumers have welcomed into their homes for more than 100 years.
We will work on three parallel paths between now and deal close.
1) Running GE Appliances – This remains the number one priority for everyone in GE Appliances. Our obligation remains to operate this business: meeting our operating plan, making progress on our business objectives and delivering for customers and consumers. We want them to know – from everything we do and from every interaction we have – that we remain committed to providing them with the products and services they expect and deserve. Remember, a key element of this deal is that the combined business will continue to develop, manufacture and sell GE branded products. We need to operate in a way that keeps customers coming back to buy GE appliances.
Our current leadership team will remain in place. We will continue to follow all policies and procedures and run our business just as we did before this announcement. And, our strategic partnership with Mabe will continue. As we approach the closure of the transaction, you will be informed of any changes. When in doubt, ask.
2) Integration planning – GE and Electrolux will establish a joint integration planning team. I am pleased to announce Mark Shirkness as the GE Appliances leader for that team. Acting within certain boundaries – since Electrolux remains a competitor until the regulatory and closing process is complete – Mark and the soon-to-be-named integration team will work to provide Electrolux with the information necessary to plan for the merged business.
3) Regulatory approval & transaction closing – A variety of people in the business – and at Electrolux – will be working with the appropriate government agencies/regulatory bodies on this process. This includes filings, providing additional information as requested, and explaining why the deal is good for consumers.
We will keep you informed about the progress we’re making on all three paths and this next step in our continued evolution as a great appliance company. This will be a busy, exciting and demanding time for this team. I have the highest confidence that we’ll deliver excellence across the board with great products and service for our customers and a smooth transition to the new business.
We have opened an anonymous question and feedback box that you can access here. Please send us your questions. If we have the answer at this point in the process we will share it. If not, we’ll hold the question and answer it as soon as we can. I understand the stress that change of this magnitude and uncertainty caused by not having answers now to many of your questions will cause. Please be patient as we work through this process.
I hope that as you learn more, you will share my optimism about this path and all the opportunities it affords.