Ericsson has confirmed it is to sell its 50 per cent share of Sony Ericsson to Sony for €1.05bn – 10 years after the two firms began the joint venture
The transaction has been approved by both companies and is expected to be completed in January 2012.
Sony will take the handset business forward as part of its Consumer Products and Services Group. The Sony Ericsson brand will change, but the company was not able to confirm how or when the change would take place.
Sony intends to push sales of its smartphones using films and music delivered via its Sony Entertainment Network.
Ericsson will continue to work closely with Sony, and as part of the deal is signing over five patent families from its extensive portfolio. It will also continue to cross licence other intellectual property for Sony handsets.
President and CEO of Ericsson Hans Vestberg said: “Ten years ago when we formed the joint venture, thereby combining Sony’s consumer products knowledge with Ericsson’s telecommunication technology expertise, it was a perfect match to drive the development of feature phones.
“Today we take an equally logical step as Sony acquires our stake in Sony Ericsson and makes it a part of its broad range of consumer devices. We will now enhance our focus on enabling connectivity for all devices, using our R&D and industry leading patent portfolio to realize a truly connected world”
Sony’s Chairman CEO and president Sir Howard Stringer added: “This acquisition makes sense for Sony and Ericsson, and it will make the difference for consumers, who want to connect with content wherever they are, whenever they want.
“With a vibrant smartphone business and by gaining access to important strategic IP, notably a broad cross-license agreement, our four-screen strategy is in place. We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment.
“This includes Sony’s own acclaimed network services, like the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network.
“We can help people enjoy all our content – from movies to music and games – through our many devices, in a way no one else can.”
More to follow…