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Cash-ravenous Sony will flog Manhattan HQ for $1.1 BEELLION

Something the Japanese biz will actually make a profit on

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Sony is ready to flog its sky-scraping US HQ in Manhattan for $1.1bn to get hold of some much-needed cash.

After debts on the building have been settled up, the entertainment giant expects to walk away with $770m - that's $685m more than it paid for it in 2002. However, by way of comparison, the firm recorded a $5.7bn net loss for its last fiscal year.

"Sony is undertaking a range of initiatives to strengthen its financial foundation and business competitiveness and for future growth," the company said in a canned statement.

"At the same time, Sony is balancing cash inflows and outflows while working to improve its cash flow by carefully selecting investments, selling assets and strengthening control of working capital such as inventory.

"This sale is made as a part of such initiatives."

Sony and its businesses, including the music and movies divisions, will stay in the Madison Avenue skyscraper for up to three years in a leaseback agreement with the buyers, a consortium led by real-estate biz The Chetrit Group.

The Japanese giant said it expected the deal to be done by March this year and it would rejig the numbers in its fiscal year forecast to take the sale into account.

Sony has lost money every year for the past four years as it failed to make an impact in the mobile devices market while its PlayStations remained in hot competition with Xbox and Wii consoles; its handheld gaming gear didn't make the splash the firm was hoping for, either.

Like many other older tech firms, Sony has started restructuring itself to focus on more profitable markets. So far, the company has sold off its chemical subsidiary and cut thousands of jobs. ®

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