The Straits Times
Published on Jan 18, 2013

Sony selling Madison Avenue HQ building for $1.3 billion


TOKYO (AFP) - Sony said on Friday it was selling its United States headquarters in Manhattan for US$1.1 billion (S$1.3 billion) as part of an overhaul aimed at rescuing the Japanese consumer electronics giant's tattered balance sheet.

New York-based commercial property firm Chetrit Group was leading a consortium that agreed to buy the Madison Avenue building in a deal expected to close in March, Sony said.

"Sony is undertaking a range of initiatives to strengthen its financial foundation and business competitiveness and for future growth," it said in a statement announcing the sale.

"At the same time, Sony is 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. This sale is made as part of such initiatives." The deal would net Sony about US$770 million after paying off building-related debt and transaction costs, it said, adding that businesses including its movie and music divisions would remain in the tower for up to three years under a lease agreement with the buyer.