Sony Corporation and Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson have agreed to make the Sony Ericsson mobile phone business a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. Sony is paying 1.05 billion Euro (£919 million) for Ericsson’s 50% share.
As well as helping Sony integrate smartphones into its product portfolio, it’ll also give Sony a handful of wireless technology patents.
Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Sony, said “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.”
Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson, 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.”
The joint venture was started in October 2001 and has generated around 1.5 billion Euro of profit during its 10 years of operation. Sony expects its acquisition to be completed by January 2012.