Sony is getting ready to shake things up again.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Kazuo Hirai, Sony's chief, has a comeback plan for the company called One Sony, and the most recent aspect of that plan involves spinning off Sony's video and sound businesses into a separate wholly-owned subsidiary. The move would be similar to what happened last year with its fledging television business.
Sony apparently has a dual-pronged focus, in which the video-sound businesses will aim for profits, while the main company barrels ahead looking for growth in films, music, gaming, and image sensors. Hirai is hoping this strategy will not only help Sony stem years of losses but also achieve a profit of ¥500 billion ($4.2 billion) in three years.
But don't think Sony is done spinning off businesses just yet. Hirai said he envisions more spinoffs of other units and that Sony would even considering selling units, including the TV arm or smartphone arm. These are all possibilities that the chief is keeping in mind, as making units autonomous would encourage profitability and business alliances.
Sony also wants to organise its businesses into categories based on their growth prospects - with content, games, and image sensors at the top. The company already sold its personal-computer unit and said it would axes its in-house music streaming business too. One thing is for sure, though: Sony plans to keep its entertainment business close.
Hiari claimed Sony even rebuffed an offer from a New York hedge fund to do a partial spinoff of entertainment. The main difficulty that Sony now faces is that it needs to make sure all its spun-off businesses remain coherent as one Sony group, mirroring the whole One Sony slogan that Hirai introduced in 2012 as a way of labeling Sony's comeback plan.
Sony's video and sound units, which make things like Blu-ray players and headphones, respectively, should be spun off by 1 October.
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