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February 6, 2014
Japan Industrial Partners, Inc.
Tokyo, Japan, February 6, 2014 --- Sony Corporation ("Sony") and Japan Industrial Partners ("JIP") today announced that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding that confirms their intent for Sony to sell to JIP Sony's PC business currently operated under the VAIO brand (the "Sale"). Sony and JIP are aiming to conclude definitive agreements by the end of March 2014, following due diligence and negotiation of detailed terms and conditions of the Sale.
The parties' current intention is to sell Sony's PC business and certain related assets to a new company established by JIP, targeting July 1, 2014 for the completion of the Sale. While the terms and conditions of the Sale and details of the new company's structure are subject to further discussion between the two parties, the following is the current basic understanding:
Following a comprehensive analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry, Sony's overall business portfolio and strategy, the need for continued support of Sony's valued VAIO customers, and future employment opportunities for personnel involved in the VAIO business, Sony has determined that the optimal solution is to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets and to transfer its PC business to a new company established by JIP that will enable the continuation of the VAIO branded PC business. As a part of the sale to JIP, Sony will cease planning, design and development of PC products. Sony's manufacturing and sales will be discontinued after the Spring 2014 lineup. Even after Sony's withdrawal from the PC market, Sony customers will continue to receive aftercare customer services.
JIP has extensive experience with "strategic carve-outs," whereby it supports companies in the process of relinquishing businesses or subsidiaries as part of a process of focus and selection, provides necessary investment to the relinquished business or subsidiary and helps realize the business's growth potential as an independently operated entity. JIP believes that with its support, the new company that will operate the VAIO-branded PC business will be able to achieve future growth and profitability and meet the expectations of VAIO customers by leveraging the wealth of innovative design expertise and operational knowhow accumulated by Sony within the PC business.