GE, Fairfield, Conn., is exploring all options for its Consumer & Industrial businesses with a primary focus on spinning off the entire unit — Appliances, Lighting and Industrial — to existing GE shareholders.

A spin-off would include products with roots in the company's earliest years, including incandescent lamps (invented by Thomas Edison in 1879) and electrical distribution equipment, which has been part of the company's product mix for 116 years.

In a statement released on July 10, GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, “As we explored our options for Appliances, it became clear that the fastest, most efficient step we could take in completing the transformation of our Industrial portfolio would be to focus on a possible spin-off of the entire unit. This is consistent with the strategy we have been executing to transform the GE portfolio for long-term growth and makes sense for GE shareholders.

“While we will continue to consider all opportunities for Consumer & Industrial, focusing on a spin-off makes sense for these great businesses as well. They have integrated processes, distribution and backroom operations. Consumer & Industrial would benefit by keeping a world-class leadership team intact, its employees together and would have the ability to control their own destiny.”

The company had initially announced on May 16 that a spin-off was a possible outcome of the strategic review of its Appliances division.