Tags: sony | pcs | sold | layoffs

Sony PCs Business Sold to Focus on Mobile; Layoffs Expected Overseas

Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 06:37 PM

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The struggling Sony Corp. is selling its PC business to a Japanese company to focus on its mobile products as it anticipates poor fiscal year-end results and plans to lay off around 5,000 people in the next year, a company press release announced Thursday.

Japanese Industrial Partners plans to take over the Vaio computer business, with paperwork on the sale to be completed by March, and initially will sell the PCs only in Japan to stabilize profits.

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The news came as Sony announced that it will not fulfill profit projections at the end of its fiscal year in March and will suffer an estimated loss of $1.08 billion for the year.

Last year, Sony had set a target of $294 million in profit for the end of its fiscal year, but the company release said, “Sony now anticipates its target of returning the TV and PC businesses to profitability will not be achieved within the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.”

Along with streamlining operations, Sony’s release said the company will expect to see layoffs of about 5,000 people by March 2014, 1,500 of whom work in Japan and the remainder overseas.

JIP will continue PC operations at Sony’s Nagano Technology site, the release said, and 250 to 300 Sony employees are expected to be hired in the PC operations.

In a separate release, Sony announced its intention to continue reforming its electronics business to focus on mobile technology, including tablets and smartphones. In the television sector, Sony will shift to selling higher-end models of TVs and continue making changes that streamline its business.

The Sony news releases did not say how much JIP is paying for the Vaio PC business, but PC World said Japanese sources priced it at between $392 million and $490 million, with Sony retaining 5 percent ownership in the new company.

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