Sony has confirmed it will be selling off its PC business, affecting approximately 5,000 employees in the process, in order to concentrate on its mobile business. At the same time, it has revealed it will attempt to spin off its television arm into a separate unit, as part of an aggressive reform strategy the company initially announced in April 2012.
The PC unit sale, including the VAIO brand, will be sold to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), and though the financial details of the sale were not revealed, it is estimated to be worth up to 50 billion yen ($490 million). Under the deal, Sony will cease development of PC products, and discontinue manufacturing and sales after its Spring 2014 lineup goes on sale, though existing customers will still receive aftersales care. Between 250 and 300 Sony employees are expected to be hired by the unit once it changes hands, with other staff potentially moved to other areas in the Sony Group, or offered early retirement. After due diligence, the acquisition is expected to complete by the end of March.