Sony said to divest former Tokyo headquarters

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 28, 2014 10:03 AM EST

A source told The Wall Street Journal blog Digits that Sony has plans of selling its former headquarters and the buildings around it located in central Tokyo as part of its efforts to deal with the losses that its consumer electronics operations had incurred.

Should the sale proceed, it would come in the wake of the company's frantic divestments of its properties last year. One of these properties was its headquarters in the US at 550 Madison Avenue which the Japanese firm let go in a $1.1 billion deal. As demand declined for its televisions and personal computers, Sony also had to unload one of its prime buildings in Tokyo in February last year in another $1.1 billion deal, the report said.

The property that the Japanese tech giant intends to unload was its headquarters from 1990 to 2007. At present, the company's medical business and other operations categorized as non-consumer related are holding office there, the report said.

The Nikkei first broke the news about the possible sale which elicited various reactions, some emotional, from local media. Some said the move would sell the company's "birthplace" and that Sony's efforts to overhaul its operations spared no "sacred cow." The price tag for the property was said to be pegged at JPY 15 billion or $146.5 million, the report said.

"Gotenyama" in Shinagawa Ward is looked upon as the birthplace of Sony. It was here where the company's founders Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka came up with such innovations as the transistor radio, the Walkman and the Trinitron TV that came to be known and used the world over. However, officials have said that the actual birthplace of the company-the place where the founders really developed their early products and which now serves as a historical museum-will not be included in the planned sale, the report said. 

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