Sony will sell VAIO brand to a Japanese investment fund

SONY IFA 2012Sony Corporation has confirmed today that they will sell the VAIO division to a Japanese investment fund, Japan Industrial Partners for an undisclosed fee.

According to the press release, Sony PC and TV businesses failed to reach a high level of profitability and this was one of the main reasons behind this decision. In other words Sony hopes to reform its PC and TV business and this move will also affect 5,000 employees.

Sony claims that that they decide to sell VAIO brand after seeing “the drastic changes in the global PC industry”. They expect to close the deal with Japan Industrial Partners(JIP) by the end of March 2014. JIP will reevaluate VAIO lineup and will first focus on selling VAIO-branded computers in Japan. Also part of this deal, Sony will cease planning, design and development of PC products after the final lineup of devices due to release this Spring.

JIP is expected to hire 250-300 Sony employees for this new venture, while the rest of the Sony employees that will be laid off might be transferred to other Sony businesses. Sony anticipates that by the end of 2014 a total number of 5,000 employees will be laid off.

As for the TV business, Sony managed to reduce costs in 2013 and their main focus for 2014 will be to reinforce their position on the “4K market by strengthening its product lineup while also bolstering its 2K models with wide color range and image-enhancing technologies”. If everything goes as planned, Sony hopes to return TV business to profitability during 2014.

In view of these strategic decisions about the PC and TV businesses, and the increasingly aggressive process of selection and focus being implemented across Sony’s electronics business, the Company plans to optimize the scale of the manufacturing, sales, and headquarters/indirect functions that support these businesses.

In terms of electronics sales companies, Sony plans to identify focused product categories for each specific country and region, rationalize support functions, and proactively implement outsourcing and other efficiency measures with the objective of achieving total cost reductions of approximately 20%** by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 (“FY15”).

Source: Sony

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