Global Sources - At $5.6 billion, Qingdao Haier has finally signed the closing documents for ownership of Louisville, Kentucky-based GE Appliances.
Qingdao Haier is now the owner of GE Appliances, with the deal finalized on Monday for $5.6 billion.
Following the announcement, it was also reported that GE Appliances will remain headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. The company will continue to operate independently under the current management team headed by president and CEO Chip Blankenship, who will soon take a senior vice president position at Haier Group.
GE Appliances will also be managed by two independent directors and senior representatives from Haier to better guide operations and strategy. No lay-offs for the more than 6,000 employees of GE Appliances in Louisville are expected to transpire.
Despite the change in ownership, GE Appliances models will still carry the GE brand, and customers will continue to receive the same support.
Haier’s purchase of GE Appliances was driven by plans to bolster a stronger presence in the US. Although it is the world’s largest manufacturer of appliances, Haier currently constitutes only 1.1 percent of the US appliance market while GE Appliances holds 14 percent.
Haier began as a refrigerator manufacturer in China in 1920, eventually becoming a state-owned business around 1949. It was only in 1990s when the company adopted the name Haier Group and strengthened credibility and brand image by international expansion, maintaining its position as the world’s appliance market share leader for six consecutive years. Before GE Appliances, Haier has already acquired New Zealand’s Fisher & Paykel.
In the Philippines, Haier has partnered with Continental Sales, Inc. (member of the LKG Group of Companies) to be its exclusive distributor for Chest Freezers, Beverage Coolers and Wine Coolers for more than 15 years. For inquiries and more information, CSI may be reached through its sales hotlines at (02) 362-5886/87. Haier Appliances are available in all major appliance stores nationwide.
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