Sony exits PC market with VAIO sale

6 Feb 2014
Sony Vaio

Sony announces job cuts as it sells off VAIO PC division

Sony has quit the PC market, confirming the sale of its VAIO unit to a local private equity fund.

As expected, Japan Industrial Partners will buy Sony's PC unit and set up a separate company to take over operations.

Financial terms weren't disclosed, but it's thought the deal was worth 50 billion yen (£301 million). Sony is expected to hold a 5% stake in the company, and the deal is expected to complete by the end of July.

Sony expects to transfer around 250 to 300 employees from its PC division to the new business.

The deal also means new VAIO models will no longer be available outside of Japan.

Sony established the VAIO brand in 1996. The company blamed its exit on "drastic changes" in the PC market and said it would focus on smartphones and tablets.

Restructure

Sony also announced a wider restructure as it forecast steep losses for the year. The company aims to cut 5,000 jobs and trim 100 billion yen (£606 million) a year off its fixed costs. The cuts will be implemented by March next year, the company said.

After years of losses in the division, Sony will also spin off its TV business into a separate unit by July.

The company posted net profit for the three months from October last year of 27bn yen, up from a net loss of 10.8bn yen during the same period a year ago.

But after weak sales in core areas - PCs, TVs, smartphones and audio - the company revised its net profit forecast for the financial year to 31 March to an 110 billion yen (£665 million) loss, down from an earlier projection of 30 billion yen (£181 million) profit.

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