Sony Corp. said Thursday it had reached agreement to sell its chemical product businesses to the state-backed Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) by the end of 2012 to focus on its electronics business.
The sale of the main operations of the Tokyo-based unit, Sony Chemical & Information Device Corp, was announced as the electronics giant expected to end the current financial year in the red for the fourth straight year, with a net loss of 220 billion yen ($2.64 billion).
The planned sale would cover the unit?s ?domestic and overseas operations relating to the manufacture and sale of chemical products,? Sony said in a statement.
The sales value has not been decided, a Sony spokesman said.
Sony plans to sell some of the unit?s factories in Japan, including those in Tochigi, Ishikawa and Miyagi prefectures, but will maintain some 1,800 employees engaged in the chemical business, he said.
The maker of PlayStation gaming consoles also plans to hand over its overseas sales and manufacturing bases in several countries including China, Singapore and the United States, he added.
Other operations besides chemicals, such as manufacturing of Blu-ray discs and FeliCa smart cards, will remain in the Sony group, Sony said.
Sony and DBJ are aiming to sign legally-binding agreements by the end of May and to complete the sale by the end of 2012, they said.
In early February, Sony said Kazuo Hirai, the company?s executive deputy president, will replace Howard Stringer as president and chief executive as of April 1.
Hirai then told a news conference that Sony "will review all its business boldly and thoroughly" to carry on concentration of the group's businesses.
In November, Sony announced a plan to make its money-losing television business profitable by the financial year through March 2014.
Shares in Sony closed up 0.06 percent Thursday.
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