Sony Lowers Forecast to Loss, Trying to Sell Vaio

TOKYO (AP) -

Sony is in talks to sell its troubled personal computer business, and Thursday lowered its earnings forecast for the business year ending March, to a 110 billion yen loss ($1.08 billion).

The company also said it’s cutting its global workforce by about 3 percent, or 5,000 people, by the end of March 2015, as it restructures its PC, television and other businesses. Some 3,500 of the job losses will be overseas, 1,500 in Japan. That comes on top of the 10,000 jobs cuts Sony announced over the previous year.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment maker, battered by stiff competition from Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea and Apple Inc., the U.S. maker of the hit iPod and iPad, acknowledged it won’t be able to stop losing money in its Vaio PC or Bravia TV operations, as it had repeatedly promised.

Tokyo-based Sony Corp. said it will split off its money-losing TV division and run it as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Sony is talking with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, which specializes in turnarounds and buyouts in manufacturing, to reach an agreement by the end of March to sell its PC business, both sides said in a statement.

Sony declined to give a monetary estimate for the deal, saying a final agreement had not been reached. If the PC deal comes together, a new company will be established, both sides said.

Sony has often been criticized as having too much under its wing, and analysts and investors have urged it to sell some of its operations for years. The moves announced Thursday might even be too little, too late.