updated 10:58 am EST, Fri February 28, 2014
Offload of buildings similar to larger US, Japan headquarters sale last year
Sony is looking to sell its old headquarters, as it attempts to raise more funds, claims a report. The company is apparently in discussions to offload the former headquarters in Gotenyama, central Tokyo, as well as a number of surrounding buildings, with the sale expected to raise somewhere in the region of 15 billion yen ($146.5 million) to add to the company's coffers.
The sale was apparently met with some emotion by the local media, according to the Wall Street Journal, with some effectively calling it the sale of "Sony's birthplace." The area is known as being the location where Sony founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka created products including the Walkman and the transistor radio, as well as the Trinitron television. Both founders moved into the area in 1947, with the location nicknamed "Sony Village" due to the company's ownership of more than 10 buildings in the area. One other building, currently used as a museum for the company, will not be included in the sale.
Sony's former headquarters, Gotenyama
The sale is one of a number of measures the electronics producer is making in order to reduce costs. Earlier this month, it confirmed it was selling off its PC business and VAIO brand for an estimated 50 billion yen ($490 million), and announced plans to reduce its US headcount by 1000 employees and 20 Sony stores. The restructuring efforts, if successful, could lead to annual fixed cost reductions in excess of 100 billion yen ($986 million) per year from 2015.
The sale of its offices is nothing new to Sony, as it performed a similar move last year. In January 2013, it sold its US headquarters in New York for $1.1 billion, followed by its main Tokyo office the next month for $1.2 billion.