The Chinese appliance giant has taken a big step towards becoming a global household name after securing General Electric’s century-old appliance business in a multi-billion-dollar deal
Qingdao Haier, the world’s biggest appliance maker took a big step on Friday towards cementing its footprint in the global market after securing the takeover of US industrial giant General Electric’s (GE) appliance business.
The $5.4 billion (4.95 billion euro) deal marks one of the largest Chinese acquisitions of a US firm to date. It also illustrates just how far Haier has come from its humble days as an upstart that grew out of a close-to-broke refrigerator factory three decades ago. Today, the firm controls more than 10 percent of the global household appliance market, and raked in $32.6 billion in 2014 revenue.
The move is sure to please the Chinese government, to which Haier has close ties, which is trying to re-balance its economy more towards consumption and away from the infrastructure and investment-driven model of the past.
The sale is the latest step by GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt to return the 123-year-old company to its industrial roots, and refocus on advanced industry technology and manufacturing. In the past years, Immelt has offloaded a number of the units the company had accumulated since the 1990s, in fields as varied as consumer finance , media and plastics. Read more