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Sony sells Vaio PC business to focus on smartphones and tablets: job cuts incoming

Sony quits PC market and restructures TV division, will focus on smartphone and tablet

Sony Vaio laptop

Sony has announced that it is selling its Vaio PC business and restructuring its TV sector, resulting in large job cuts.

The Japanese tech firm will sell its Vaio PC business which uses the Vaio brand to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). The sum is undisclosed but it is thought that the deal is worth £301 million and Sony is aiming to reach a definitive agreement by the end of March.

Sony has described the move as an 'optimal solution', following 'drastic changes' in the PC market. It will now focus its efforts on the booming smartphone and tablet sectors. Meanwhile, JIP will focus on the Japanese market initially with possible geographic expansion in the future.

Around 250 to 300 employees are expected to move to the new company and although Sony will stop design, development, manufacturing and sales of PC products, customers will continue to receive aftercare customer services.

While some employees will move to the new company, Sony is forecasting a total job cut of 5,000 staff across PC and TV divisions by the end of the financial year; 1,500 in Japan and 3,500 overseas.

As well as selling the Vaio PC business, Sony plans to split out the TV business and operate it as a wholly-owned subsidiary. It aims to do this by July 2014 and hopes the move will return the business to profitability.

"Sony plans to reinforce the company's leading position in the 4K market by strengthening its product lineup while also bolstering its 2K models with wide color range and image-enhancing technologies. In emerging markets, Sony will aim to harness market expansion by developing and launching models tailored to specific local needs." it said.

Follow Chris Martin and @PCAdvisor on Twitter.

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