Sony continues to offload assets, sells Tokyo complex for $1.2 billion

The company has promised to make a profit under its new CEO, and has also sold off holdings including its US headquarters

Sony, striving for its first annual profit in five years, said Thursday it sold a Tokyo office complex for about US$1.2 billion.

"Sony City Osaki," a building and block of land in a prime section of the Japanese capital near bustling Osaki Station, finished construction in March, 2011. The company said it structured the sale so that it will receive the profits immediately, but will continue to lease and occupy the property for the next five years.

The deal is the latest in a series of large asset sales, including Sony's U.S. headquarters, as the company tries to stick to its promise of making a profit this fiscal year, the first under new CEO Kazuo Hirai. The company reiterated Thursday that it aims for a small ¥20 billion ($220 million) profit, on sales of ¥6.6 trillion.

Sony said it will generate ¥41 billion in operating profit, to be booked in the current fiscal year through March, on the Osaki deal. The company said in a statement the sale is part of its efforts at "transforming its business portfolio and reorganizing its assets in an effort to strengthen its corporate structure."

The 25-story building, with an additional window-walled story on the roof, was built with cutting-edge techniques. It won an award last year for its anti-earthquake construction, which includes giant oil dampers. The building is also fitted with a system that circulates and evaporates collected rain water to help lower its external temperature during hot periods.

Last month, Sony announced it will sell its iconic U.S. headquarters for $1.1 billion. The company said it will move out of that building, a famous part of the New York skyline, within the next three years.

The company said last week it generated ¥14.2 billion by selling shares in M3, an online medical services company, to Deutsche Securities.

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Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
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