GE Acquires Stake in ImproveNet

General Electric said it has provided a major
round of private equity investment in ImproveNet, an online contractor
matching service.

GE Appliances also entered into an agreement to advertise and offer product
information to remodeling contractors and consumers on the ImproveNet site.

GE Equity and GE Appliances provided the
investment; financial details were not disclosed.

“GE is investing in ImproveNet to strengthen its commitment to the needs of
remodeling contractors and consumers,” said David M. Cote, president and CEO
of GE Appliances.

“As appliances are a major part of most household
remodeling, it makes sense for us to build a relationship with the leading
Internet company serving this industry.”

ImproveNet offers an array of remodeling tips and product information, a team
of project advisors and experts, and a referral service matching homeowners
with pre-screened contractors, designers, and architects.

Separately, GE said it plans a Web site to sell such consumer services and
products as mortgages.

GE plans to work out the final details of the site in a meeting next week of
electronic-commerce officials from the company’s consumer businesses, GE
Chief Information Officer Gary Reiner told Bloomberg News in an interview.

GE Chairman John F. Welch Jr. is pushing all of GE’s 11 main divisions to
embrace the Internet, which he has called the biggest business event since
the Industrial Revolution.

The site is in addition to one that GE Capital Corp., the company’s finance
arm, plans to debut later this month.

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