Sony Corp says report on possible joint venture with Lenovo Group inaccurate

February 1
1:12 PM 2014

On Saturday, February 1, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Sony Corp and Lenovo Group are discussing a possible joint venture for Sony's Vaio PC business abroad that is making losses. However, the Japanese electronics and media company said the report was not accurate even as it acknowledged that it was considering different possibilities for the Vaio unit, Reuters reported.

In a statement, Sony said, "Sony continues to address various options for the PC business, but the press report on a possible PC business alliance between Sony and Lenovo is inaccurate."

Sony added that it intends to modify the unit's product and manufacturing approach as smartphones and tablets have weakened the sales of the company's PC business. Even if it did not provide figures, Sony had forecasted that for the year that will end in March, its PC business would lose money. The Japan-based firm is scheduled to unveil results this week, the report said.

Last week, Moody's Investors Service slashed the debt rating of the company to junk status. The development showcased the challenges that Sony is facing in its television and PC operations and the demands on profitability that the company is dealing with in its core consumer electronics business, the report said.

For Chinese technology firm Lenovo, meanwhile, 80% of its revenue is derived from personal computers. However, the company has been making aggressive diversification moves into markets that hold more promise, the report said.

Lenovo said last week that it would be acquiring Motorola Mobility for a price tag of $2.91 billion. Motorola Mobility is the handset unit of search giant Google Inc. This would be the fourth biggest acquisition of a US firm by a company from China or Hong Kong. With the purchase, Lenovo would be able to foray into the smartphone market and compete against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Apple Inc, the report said.

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