Sony Lithium-ion pioneer selling off its battery business to cover losses

Sony, the first company, to introduce the Lithium-ion battery commercially in 1991 is selling its important battery business to Murata, another Japanese tech company.

It is no secret that Sony has been going through rough times, and CEO Kazuo Hirai has talked in no uncertain terms that he will not flinch to close or jettison any business unit which is not profitable. Sony Mobile was given a deadline until the end of 2016 to come out of the red, but it seems the battery division did not have this lenient time frame.

Sony entered the battery business in 1975. The plan was announced on Thursday, but the two entities will not enter any binding agreement till October. The deal is expected to be finalized by March 2017. Details about the money involved in the deal have not been revealed, and it is possible that the details are still being worked out.

Sony is shedding a lot of its excess flab to become profitable. It also sold its VAIO computer division and also its New York and Tokyo headquarters. It has done away with its sensor and TV business.

Murata is not a well-known name as Sony in the business sectors but has a presence in the electronics component business and has developed some chic robots like the bicycle-riding Murata Boy and a team of robotic cheerleaders. Murata will amalgamate the Sony’s battery division into its energy business. Murata plans to use Sony’s manufacturing units in China and Singapore to further expand its own energy business. Murata will also inherit Sony’s staff and assets.

The sale could include Sony Energy Devices Corporation as well as its manufacturing operations in China and Singapore. However, some products like the USB chargers, alkaline batteries, button and coin batteries, and mobile projectors will remain in Sony’s inventory.

Sony’s Battery business is a part of the Devices division and also includes the profit making image sensor section. However, the battery sales have been shrinking, and the group suffered a loss of 30.6 billion yen equivalent to 271 million dollars.

The news has also led to talks about Sony Mobile also ending up in the same fate. There are rumors that Sony is in the process of launching a brand new flagship device at the next IFA 2016 and hopes to pull out its mobile division out of the red.

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