GE Appliance Park

GE Appliance Park in the 1950s.

It’s the end of a 65-year-era.

GE announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its appliances business to Electrolux. That of course includes GE Appliance Park.

At 2:30 a.m., GE media officials sent out notice of a press briefing, scheduled for today at 10:30 a.m. at Appliance Park.

That notice stated there is “still work to be done before the deal can be final, and that GE Appliances President & CEO Charles (Chip) Blankenship is scheduled to brief the media.

The New York Times DealBook blog is reporting this morning Electrolux bought the GE appliance business in a $3.3 billion deal, a deal subject to regulatory scrutiny. The deal is scheduled to close in 2015.

Insider Louisville broke the story of the pending sale on June 30 after employees notified us Electrolux officials had toured Building 5 at Appliance Park.

Just what the sale means is not clear. But DealBook reporter Chad Bray reports that as part of the deal, Electrolux would continue to use the G.E. Appliances brand name. The deal would roughly double Electrolux gross global sales.

But for GE as a whole, the appliance and lighting business was a small and not particularly profitable piece of the conglomerate, which includes aviation and high-tech manufacturing.

Appliances and lighting accounted for only about 6 percent of the company’s $146 billion in 2013 revenue. In a Wall Street Journal post April 17, GE CEO Jeff Immelt foreshadowed the sale by stating GE executives are planning to sell off under-performing businesses at the hugely diversified conglomerate to boost sagging profits and share value.

Mayor Greg Fischer released the following statement regarding the sale of GE:

GE has been an important part of Louisville’s economy and culture for decades. Electrolux is a fantastic global brand that we welcome to our city. GE has made unprecedented investments in its people, innovation capabilities, and manufacturing plants in Louisville in the past few years.

Along with our partners in state government, we will work with Electrolux leadership to present the advantages and capabilities of our community to grow the combined GE Appliances – Electrolux platform even further.

GE Appliances employs about 15,000 people, 6,000 of whom are in Louisville. The 1,000-acre Appliance Park dates back to about 1951 and at its peak employed more than 20,000 people, the largest employer in Louisville until Ford’s assembly plants opened.