As part of its on-going initiative to enhance its manufacturing efficiency to improve the profitability of its liquid crystal display (“LCD”) TV business, Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced that its relevant European subsidiaries have agreed with Ficosa International, S.A. (“Ficosa”) and COMSA EMTE SL (“COMSA EMTE”), both headquartered in Spain, to sell the Barcelona technology center (formal name: Sony Espana S.A., Barcelona Technology Center [Barcelona, Spain]), which manufactures LCD TVs for the Europe region, to Ficosa and COMSA EMTE.
With this transaction, the Barcelona technology center will be divided into two new companies, one focusing on manufacturing and the other focusing on development and engineering. The manufacturing company will be wholly-owned and operated by Ficosa, while the development and engineering company will be a 50:50 joint venture between Ficosa and COMSA EMTE. Between them, the new companies intend to assume employment of the majority of employees at the Barcelona technology center.
Sony will source LCD TV production to the new manufacturing company for two years after completion of the transfer. Both the new manufacturing and engineering companies will concurrently develop new businesses.
The transfer is planned to be completed by the end of December 2010, subject to certain regulatory and other approvals.
Although a loss is expected to be incurred by Sony in connection with the transaction for the rest of the current fiscal year, no material impact is anticipated on Sony’s consolidated financial results forecast for the current fiscal year that was released at the time of the first quarter earnings announcement, as such loss has been included in the forecast as a part of the 75 billion yen of estimated restructuring charges.