Sony is the world’s first company that successfully commercialized rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and applied this technology on portable electric devices. However, the world leader announced to transfer its battery business to Murata Manufacturing.
In recent year, the price war among international manufacturers, such as from South Korean companies, has cause negative effect to Sony’s battery sales. Consequently, Sony’s battery business has been continuously in loss since 2011 except 2014, when the sector shortly met profit. Sony judges that it will be difficult to maintain battery business profitable enough, and thus decided to transfer the sector to Murata.
A Nikkei report points out that Sony’s decision of transferring battery business is also a part of its strategy to concentrate on more profitable and competitive businesses, such as Charge Coupled Devices. The VAIO brand was previously detached by Sony for the same reason.
Sony battery business’s net sale in 2015 was approximately JPY160 billion, yet the transfer could be worth under JPY40 billion. Both parties are aiming to execute binding definitive agreements by the middle of October 2016, and to complete the Transfer by the end of March 2017, subject to required regulatory approvals.
Business operations related to consumer sales of Sony-branded USB batteries, alkaline batteries, button and coin batteries, and mobile projectors, as well as certain other products, are not expected to be included in the transfer.
The transfer will include the battery business conducted by Sony Energy Devices Corporation, Sony's battery-related manufacturing operations located in China and Singapore, and assets and personnel assigned to the battery business at the Sony Group's sales and R&D sites in Japan and worldwide.
(Photo credit: Sony)