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Sony Sells Stake in DeNa to Nomura

Conglom continues to shed non-core ops, revamp biz as its fiscal year end approaches

Sony, unloading non-core assets as it prowls for cash, is selling its 13% stake — about 18 million shares —  in Tokyo gaming and e-commerce group DeNa to Nomura Securities this week, and expects to realize a $40 million gain on the deal this quarter.

It’s part and parcel, Sony said, of “transforming its business portfolio and reorganizing its assets in an effort to strengthen its corporate structure.” That’s something it’s been doing rapidly under new CEO Kazuo Hirai. Last month Sony sold its iconic U.S. headquarters in Gotham for $1.1 billion. Last week, it unloaded  its Sony City Osaki office tower in Tokyo for $1.2 billion. The deals will funnel millions in profits towards the conglom’s goal of ending 2013 in the black. The company’s fiscal year ends March 31.

Streamlining will continue. Variety reported recently that disc maker DADC and online music data service Gracenote could be for sale as well.

And the bigger transformation has been ongoing at struggling electronics, where  execs are attempting to re-imagine the television set business. On the mobile side, Sony’s breakup with Ericsson has led to its first solo phone, the Xperia Z.  Water-proof, super high-resolution and super thin, the product is getting rave reviews internationally, although it’s not out in the U.S. yet.

Sony’s stock, long a laggard, has popped higher in recent days, gaining about 10% over the past week. It’s trading at about $15.25 in New York Monday morning.

(Mark Schilling contributed to this story)

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