Banks show interest in helping Sony sell off battery business

Banks show interest in helping Sony sell off battery business

Multiple investment banks have contacted Sony about assisting in the sale of the beleaguered electronics maker’s battery unit, Reuters reports.

Sony has been in the throes of a dramatic corporate overhaul over the past year, and its battery business, which it estimates is worth $633 million, would make a lot of sense for cutting costs and reducing headcount. Reuters notes that the division employs 2,700 workers and booked $1.74 billion in sales last year. Manufacturing giant Hon Hai and Chinese carmaker BYD were said to be some of the interested parties.

The publication’s sources said that at least three banks had approached the company. A Sony spokesperson declined to comment on the potential sale of the division when contacted by Reuters, but he did reiterate an earlier statement from the company that said it was looking into “possible alliances in E-vehicle batteries and battery storage”.

In 2006, Sony’s battery business issued a large-scale recall of laptop batteries after it was discovered that some of them posed a fire hazard to customers. Fujitsu, Gateway, Sony, Toshiba, Apple and Dell were all affected by the recall. Another recall took place in 2008.

During the third quarter of this year, Sony managed to bring in $20 billion in revenue, but it had a net loss of $198 million. It did however, achieve operating income of $388 million, compared to an operating loss of $20 million in the year ago quarter.

The electronics maker, which has been hard hit by slowing TV sales, plans to cut 10,000 employees from its headcount in its restructuring, which began in April and will cost nearly over $900 million. The company sold off its chemical business for $730 million in June.

Image credit: Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images

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