GE in talks to sell historic appliance division

NEW YORK - General Electric confirmed that it is considering the sale of its historic appliance division as part of its effort to focus on selling more complex and more profitable industrial equipment.

The confirmation came after the Swedish appliance maker Electrolux released a statement Thursday that it was in discussions to buy the business from GE, which is based in Fairfield, Connecticut.

"GE is evaluating a wide range of strategic options for our appliances business, including discussions with Electrolux and other interested parties," said GE spokesman Seth Martin.

General Electric Co. has said it plans to sell businesses worth about $4 billion this year, and the company's appliance division --maker of the first electric toaster more than a century ago -- has been thought to be a candidate for sale.

General Electric Co. shares were down 6 cents to $25.77 in afternoon trading Thursday.

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