Stairway to heaven

In a move that has seen the company’s share prices surge by a whopping 12 per cent, Sony has announced that it has agreed to sell its New York headquarters to the Chetrit Group for a whopping $1.1 billion. The electronics manufacturer will continue to operate out of the 37-story building for the next three years, after which it will move into alternate premises.

The move represents the latest in a string of cost-cutting measures by the cash-strapped company, which has been selling assets and slashing jobs in order to pay off its debts. The Japanese giant expects to make a profit of around ¥20 billion ($223 million) for the fiscal window ending 31st March, following enormous losses in 2012. The sale of the building is speculated to bring in about $770 million after debt and other transaction costs. According to Bloomberg, the organisation is “re-evaluating its forecast of consolidated results for the year to reflect the sale”.

The building itself, located at 550 Madison Avenue, was previously the home of AT&T, before being taken over by Sony in 2002. Its new owners, the Chetrit Group, are a real estate firm, best known for acquiring the Willis Tower in Chicago, North America’s tallest building. Other assets in the firm’s portfolio include the famous Chelsea Hotel, which has hosted numerous high-profile residents over the years.

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