Hong Kong Company Bids on GE Motors Division

February 11, 2003
Posted at:
4:55 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Johnson Electric Holdings Ltd. has made a preliminary bid of about $750 million for General Electric Co.'s motors division, making the Hong Kong-based company the early favorite to win the first of GE's planned disposals, sources said.

GE runs an Industrial Control Systems plant in Jonesboro that employs around 215 people. On December 16, 2002, GE announced that it would move about 50 jobs from the Jonesboro facility to other sites, including China.

The reduction in force would not take affect until at least June 6, 2004.

According to GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt's plan, the move is a step toward to recasting GE, into a company more tightly focused on high-growth segments such as medical systems and power production equipment.

Analysts have said they expect the company to seek buyers for slower-growing businesses, such as its consumer appliance division and the motors unit, to raise money to invest in other areas.