Sony continues to restructure with its latest move being to divest of its interest in Sharp Display Products, which makes LCD displays. The company, under the leadership of new CEO Kazuo Hirai, said it was pulling out of the partnership with Sharp, in which it holds a 7% stake and is moving towards selling back the stake to Sharp.
Sony said in a statement that part of the agreement between Sharp and Sony was if any third party were to get involved in the deal – in this case, Foxconn, which is set to take up a 46.5% stake in Sharp, Sony would be at liberty to sell its stake.
However, this is part of Sony’s wider restructuring program to see the company divest of unnecessary assets and partnerships, and concentrate on building what the company calls “One Sony”.
We saw a similar move last month when Sony parted ways with Ericsson and opted to build smartphones with the Sony brand alone.
In addition, the company also moved to have tighter control over its marketing pipelines, as well as reduce products and competitively price existing products. Sony has said it does not wish to compete in a race to the bottom; somewhere it has found itself in the recent past.
The company wants to concentrate on higher margin products such as smartphones and gaming consoles as it seeks to get out of the floundering TV business, following in the footsteps of Samsung, which has also ditched its TV business in favor of smartphones.