The on again off again sale of GE’s appliance division is off once again. (Say that three time fast.)
As we have been following the story here at appliance.net, GE put its appliance sector up for sale last May. There have been rumors of purchase offers, including one from Chinese manufacturer Haier who retreated in November as the US economy stumbled. Now GE has announced its plans to hold off on any sale or spin off, citing the deepening recession.
Company spokeswoman Kim Freeman said GE executives “still feel the strategy is the correct strategy. It is just the wrong time.”
“The challenging economic environment makes a spin or a sale now extremely difficult,” the GE statement said. “Remaining part of GE and staying totally focused on operating the business effectively is the best move for the business as we prepare for what is shaping up to be another very tough year in 2009.”
The company offered no indication of when it might pursue breaking off the division. A statement on the decision said GE would “aggressively align our business with the current market.”
Last week, GE began laying off salaried workers at the division as part of a 5 percent reduction in Consumer & Industrial’s global work force of about 45,000.
GE also said it plans to continue paying a dividend in 2009, offering investors 31 cents per share each quarter.