Sony Corporation of America (a subsidiary of Sony Corporation) is selling its U.S. headquarters building in New York City to a consortium led by The Chetrit Group, the company has announced.
The price for the building, located at 550 Madison Avenue, is $1.1 billion. Sony will remain in the building for up to three years under a leaseback arrangement with the purchaser. The transaction is expected to close in March 2013.
Sony doesn't hide the reasons for the sale: it wants to "strengthen its financial foundation" and "improve its cash flow by carefully selecting investments, selling assets and strengthening control of working capital such as inventory."
The company has been piling up losses quarter after quarter in recent years. After paying off debt related to the building and other transaction costs, Sony expects to gain approximately $685 million, which will pump some blood into its balance sheet.
Sony doesn't plan to stop at this sale, though. Reuters reports the company is looking to sell its headquarters in Tokyo as well, for a similar price – $1.14 billion.