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General Electric is seeking to sell off, spin off or partner up for its large-appliance unit, ending more than a century in an industry that helped make GE a household name.

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The US-based company is the biggest maker of appliances such as refrigerators and washers in the U.S. says sales aren’t growing fast enough to help GE reach its long-term goal of 10 per cent annual profit growth. Its appliances provided 4.1 per cent of sales last year.

GE Appliances, based in Louisville, Kentucky, provided about $US7.2 billion of the parent company’s $US172.7 billion in sales last year.

The last biggest acquisition of an appliance company was Whirlpool Corp.’s $US1.8 billion purchase of Maytag in 2006, making Whirlpool bigger than Electrolux AB and LG Electronics.

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