TOKYO Jan 18 Sony Corp has sold its
37-storey New York headquarters for $1.1 billion, realising a
gain of $685 million it can book as operating income and helping
its bid to return to profit.
The sale to real estate developer The Chetrit Group will be
completed before the end of March, Sony said in a statement. For
the year ending March 31, the company is forecasting operating
profit of $1.45 billion compared with a $753 million loss a year
Sony and Japan's other big consumer electronic gadget makers
are resorting to asset sales to boost their finances as they
fight to end losses in their television units, hammered by
competition from South Korean rivals led by Samsung Electronics
Sony, Panasonic Corp and Sharp Corp also
plan to offload buildings and businesses in a garage sale that
could raise a combined $3 billion over the next few months.
Sony is mulling the sale of its battery business, which
makes lithium ion power packs for tablets, PCs and mobile
phones, Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said at the CES electronics
show in Las Vegas last week. He added that the maker of Bravia
TVs would also consider offloading other non-core assets.
In September Sony sold its chemical unit which employs 2,900
workers to a state-owned Japanese bank for $704 million.
While rival Panasonic is revamping its business around
batteries, auto parts and household appliances, Sony is banking
on smartphones, gaming and cameras. Sharp is focusing on display
screens and forging alliances with the likes of Taiwan's Hon Hai
Precision Industry and U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc
The fixed assets - buildings, land and machinery - of the
three companies total around $42 billion, exceeding their
combined market value of $32 billion.
Sony's shares gained 6.7 percent in Tokyo to 1,093 yen,
compared with a 2.2 percent gain in the benchmark Nikkei 225