Understand why GE pulled out of deal: Electrolux CEO

The chief executive of Electrolux told CNBC that there were no hard feelings towards General Electric after the U.S. firm decided not to sell its appliances division to the Swedish appliance maker.

"It's unfortunate that in the eleventh hour, GE decided to pull out and now of course with the sale to Haier, we understand why, given the price ($5.4 billion) that they got for it," Keith McLoughlin, Electrolux's CEO told CNBC Thursday.

"It's business. Things happen but if you don't take prudent risk, you never transform a company; you never get a big return. It was a smart, prudent deal, but we knew there was risk associated from the beginning."

Electrolux announced it had entered an agreement with GE to acquire its appliances business back in September 2014, a move which would've improved Electrolux's footprint both in the U.S. and globally.

In December 2015 however, GE announced it had terminated the $3.3 billion deal and was looking to pursue other options. The news came only months after the Department of Justice initiated court proceedings against the acquisition, citing concerns that the deal would eliminate competition, leaving consumers with little choice.

McLoughlin admitted Electrolux knew from the start there would be risks, however planned to see the deal "all the way through." With a third of the company's sales coming from the U.S., the CEO remained confident that the company was a strong player in the region and would continue to grow.

"We're not an insignificant player (in the U.S.) today; we're relatively a strong player as it is, independent of the GE deal. So our expectations is that we will continue to invest in and grow that business, and bring more relevant consumer value there."

Keith McLoughlin, chief executive officer of Electrolux.
Chris Ratcliffe | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Keith McLoughlin, chief executive officer of Electrolux.

When it comes to future acquisitions, McLoughlin told CNBC that Electrolux hadn't slowed down but rather remained "up to date" in its M&A processes.

The failure to secure an acquisition with the U.S. company caused Electrolux's business to slip into the red in 2015's final quarter, with the manufacturer reporting a 202 million Swedish crown ($23.7 million) operating loss on Thursday for the fourth quarter, in comparison to the previous year's profit of 1.4 billion crowns.

Despite the negative figure, the chief executive remained positive, telling CNBC it was a "healthy quarter," adding that the operating results were "quite good", after the GE transaction cost came in around 1.66 billion crowns for the quarter.

"(It was) a good healthy quarter, a good strong performance in Europe and North America, and in our professional group. Exceptional performance in cash flow, which puts the company in a very healthy position relative to the balance sheet and the firepower."

Electrolux shares reacted positively on Thursday, up some 6.8 percent around 3 pm U.K. time, with traders citing a better than expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) as reasons for the rally.

Jonas Samuelson will become Electrolux's new president and CEO, from the beginning of February, after McLoughlin announced earlier this month that he wished to retire from his position.

By CNBC's Alexandra Gibbs, follow her @AlexGibbsy and @CNBCi