TOKYO Dec 29 Japan's Sony Corp has
decided not to sell its lithium-ion battery unit, media reported
on Sunday, in a gamble that it can turn the business around with
a weak yen and growing demand for smart phone batteries.
In addition to a weak yen, which can boost overseas
earnings, the battery unit is also seeing increased demand for
some of its new products, the Nikkei business daily reported.
For the past two years Sony had been planning to offload the
unit, which was a pioneer in making lithium-ion batteries for
computers and mobile devices but has struggled recently against
cheaper South Korean rivals.
A government turnaround fund tried to broker a sale of the
battery business to a Nissan Motor Co Ltd and NEC Corp
joint venture earlier this year.
However, talks have stalled and Sony has now told the
turnaround fund that it will hold on to the battery unit and
develop it as a core business, the Nikkei reported, citing
Sony, which last year sold its chemical business to the
government turnaround fund, is trying to revive the fortunes of
its consumer electronics business by focusing on cameras, gaming
and mobile devices.
(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Paul Tait)