Sony sells off Madison Ave. HQ for $1.1 billion

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Sale of 37-storey New York office to net company $770 million in profit.

Sony has agreed to sell its New York office block, which acts as its US headquarters, for $1.1 billion.

The 37-storey building has been snapped up by the Chetrit Group, with the sale set to close this March, leaving Sony with a tidy profit of $770 million after paying off debt.

The building, located at 550 Madison Avenue, currently plays host to the Tokyo-based company's US divisions, such as Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment, among others.

These divisions will continue to occupy the building for three years under a leaseback agreement with the new owners.

"Given the opportunities and challenges in the current economic and real estate landscape, selling 550 Madison now is a timely and logical strategic move," Nicole Seligman, president of Sony Corp. of America, told employees.

"Regarding our new headquarters, we continue to look at a number of spaces in Manhattan but have not yet made a decision about where to lease."

The company explained that this decision comes as part of a range of measures to strengthen its "financial foundations" and enable it to continue to be competitive in the future.

For the financial year ending 31st March, 2013, the company predicts worldwide operating income of JPY130 billion ($1.4 billion), compared to last year's loss of JPY67.3 billion ($748 million).

Sony recently celebrated that its PlayStation 3 console had sold 70 million units worldwide, as of 4th November 2012, additionally, the company reported that its new movement-based controller surpassed 15 million units.

image: © Jamie McCall

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