Sweden's Electrolux has agreed its biggest ever deal, buying General Electric's appliances business for $3.3 billion in cash to boost its presence in North America and take on rival Whirlpool. 

"GE's premium, high-quality appliances complement our own iconic brands and will enhance our presence in North America" said Keith McLoughlin, CEO of Electrolux. 

"The acquisition, which is our largest ever, strengthens our commitment to the appliance business and also provides Electrolux with the scale and opportunity to accelerate our investments in innovation and global growth," he added. 

Electrolux sells under brands such as Frigidaire, AEG and Zanussi as well as its own name.

It is already the world's second-largest home appliance maker after Whirlpool, but has lagged its larger rival in the US with Europe its strongest market. 

Electrolux said deal would be financed by a bridge facility and that it would undertake a rights issue corresponding to about 25% of the consideration following completion of the acquisition. 

The transaction is expected to generate annual cost synergies of around $300m and to be earnings accretive from the first year.