Sony said they are selling their U.S. headquarters building in Manhattan. The sale will net the corporation $1.1 billion.
AFP reported that the Japanese electronics maker has sold the 37 storey building to a consortium led by New York based commerical property firm Chetrit Group in a deal expected to close in March. After Sony pay building related debt and transaction costs they will get $770 million.
Sony are undergoing a complete overhaul which is set to return the corporation to profitability after four years they have spent in the red.
Sony said “Sony is undertaking a range of initiatives to strengthen its financial foundation and business competitiveness and for future growth.” They added that they were “balancing cash inflows and outflows while working to improve its cash flow by carefully selecting investments, selling assets and strengthening control of working capital such as inventory.”
After the deal is finished Sony movie and music divisions will remain in the tower for up to three years in a lease agreement with the buyer.
The massive 37 storey building is home to around 1,500 employees. It opened in 1984 and was sold to Sony in 2002.
A market analyst at Monex, Toshiyuki Kanayama said that the sale was an “obvious plus for Sony’s balance sheet, but does not instantly improve its creditworthiness or investability in the eyes of investors.”
Sony lost 456.66 billion yen in their last fiscal year. They invested 50 billion yen in camera and medical equipment maker Olympus. They said last year that they would be cutting 10,000 jobs and spending almost $1.0 billion in a company wide ‘overhaul’ which boss Kazuo Hirai said was “urgent”.
Sony: No details yet on the future of the 1,500 employees who work there.