Last Thursday, Sony announced that it will be selling its VAIO brand to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).
The Japanese investment fund will take control over the VAIO PC brand and sell the computers in Japan only, for the time being. Sony did not disclose the amount of the deal, but rumours suggest that it could be up to 50 billion yen (around £300 million).
The deal should be finalized by the end of March and Sony said that it will cut around 5,000 jobs – 1,500 in Japan and 3,500 worldwide – by the end of the fiscal year 2014. JIP’s company is planning to hire 250 to 300 Sony employees and Sony will invest 5% of the new company’s capital. Sony also said that it expects a net loss of 100 billion yen (around £600 million) for the year.
The VAIO brand (Video Audio Integrated Operation and Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer) was introduced in 1996 and Sony has expanded it throughout the years. However, with the sales significantly down, Sony has had to let go of its struggling PC business. The Japanese giant will continue to produce tablet computers, but will focus more on mobile devices, especially smartphones.