Sony (Sort of) Denies Vaio Disposal

HONG KONG – Entertainment and electronics giant Sony this weekend denied reports that it is discussing a joint venture in personal computers with China’s Lenovo Group.

Public broadcaster NHK reported that Sony may try to offload its loss-making Vaio computers in to a JV with Lenovo, which is now the world’s largest laptop maker.

Sony issued a statement, but acknowledged that it is looking at different options for the unit which is one of several business lines dragging down the group’s profitability.

“A press report on February 1, 2014 stated that Sony Corporation (“Sony”) is discussing with Lenovo Group (“Lenovo”) the possible establishment of a joint venture for the PC business. As Sony has announced previously, Sony continues to address various options for the PC business, but the press report on a possible PC business alliance between Sony and Lenovo is inaccurate,” Sony said.

Sony’s problems were highlighted last week when credit ratings agency Moody’s cut its evaluation of Sony’s corporate debt to ‘junk status.’ Moody’s pointed to losses in television set and PC manufacturing as well as weakness in other consumer electronics activities.

Lenovo, which built its PC business on the back of the IBM laptops business it acquired a few years ago, last week announced that it intends to buy IBM’s low end server business and also that it would pay Google $2.91 billion for the Motorola telephone handset business.

Sony is due to report its third quarter results on Thursday (Feb. 6).

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