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Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced that it decided to sell all shares in Sony Berlin GmbH ("Sony Berlin"), which owns and operates the urban entertainment complex "The Sony Center am Potsdamer Platz" ("Sony Center") in Berlin, Germany, to real estate funds managed by Morgan Stanley and two other investors (Corpus Sireo and an affiliate of The John Buck Company) (together, the "purchasers"). The ownership of Sony Berlin will be transferred to the purchasers by the end of March 2008, subject to approval by relevant authorities. Sony's decision is a result of an in-depth review of Sony's current businesses in conjunction with its ongoing global mid-term strategy to focus on core business areas.
Inaugurated in June 2000 as an innovative urban entertainment complex, the Sony Center - encompassing eight buildings totaling 132,500 square meters - accommodates offices, retail, dining, entertainment facilities and residence. It has become one of the most vibrant landmarks in the heart of Berlin and attracts more than eight million visitors per year.
Having considered the significant brand recognition of this property, Sony and the purchasers have reached an agreement to retain the name "Sony Center" for the foreseeable future. Despite the transfer of ownership, Sony's overall presence at the Sony Center will remain unchanged. All Sony Group companies that are currently located on Sony Center premises, including Sony Europe GmbH, Sony Deutschland GmbH, Sony Pictures Releasing GmbH and Sony/ATV Music Publishing (Germany) GmbH, will remain as tenants following the completion of this transaction.
The estimated impact on Sony's consolidated operating income from the sale of Sony Berlin was incorporated within Sony's consolidated results forecast for the current fiscal year, which was announced on January 31, 2008.