GE may sell appliance business

From the Associated Press

General Electric Co. plans to auction off its appliance business, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

GE has hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to run an auction for the appliance division, according to the newspaper, which quoted unidentified sources. The sale could yield between $5 billion and $8 billion, the Journal reported.

Spokesmen for the Fairfield, Conn.-based industrial conglomerate and Goldman Sachs would not comment.

GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt has been under pressure to restructure the company, particularly since last month's surprising first-quarter earnings report that profit fell 6%.

But Immelt brushed off questions about GE spinning off businesses. He said after the earnings report that GE had already sold businesses valued at $50 billion to $60 billion in what he called the "most active portfolio change in the history of the company."

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