Breaking: Sony Buys Sony Ericsson For €1.05 billion

We heard the rumors circulating for awhile now and it looks like the inevitable has happened — Sony has just bought Sony Ericsson for €1.05 billion. I’m sure some of you are confused with the news thinking, “Wait. Sony bought Sony?” Not quite. Sony Ericsson was actually its own separate company (Ericsson) that turned into a joint venture when Sony essentially bought half of the company back in 2001. This buyout now gives Sony full ownership of the company and allows them to expand their portfolio beyond audio, tablets, laptops and gaming and allows Sony to make a big splash in the smartphone market as well. The agreement also gives Sony a leg up thanks to “five essential patent families” that come with the deal. Nothing is finalized yet with the deal closing January 2012 (pending regulatory approval of course). Full press release can be found below.

Ericsson: Sony to acquire Ericsson’s share of Sony Ericsson

October 27, 2011, 08:16 (CEST)

Sony Ericsson to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony and integrated into Sony’s broad platform of network-connected consumer electronics products
The transaction also provides Sony with a broad IP cross-licensing agreement and ownership of five essential patent families
Ericsson to receive EUR 1.05 billion cash payment
Sony and Ericsson to create wireless connectivity initiative to drive connectivity across multiple platforms
Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced that Sony will acquire Ericsson’s 50 percent stake in Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB (“Sony Ericsson”), making the mobile handset business a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.

The transaction gives Sony an opportunity to rapidly integrate smartphones into its broad array of network-connected consumer electronics devices – including tablets, televisions and personal computers – for the benefit of consumers and the growth of its business. The transaction also provides Sony with a broad intellectual property (IP) cross-licensing agreement covering all products and services of Sony as well as ownership of five essential patent families relating to wireless handset technology.

As part of the transaction, Ericsson will receive a cash consideration of EUR 1.05 billion.

During the past ten years the mobile market has shifted focus from simple mobile phones to rich smartphones that include access to internet services and content. The transaction is a logical strategic step that takes into account the nature of this evolution and its impact on the marketplace.

This means that the synergies for Ericsson in having both a world leading technology and telecoms services portfolio and a handset operation are decreasing. Today Ericsson’s focus is on the global wireless market as a whole; how wireless connectivity can benefit people, business and society beyond just phones. Consistent with that mission, by setting up a wireless connectivity initiative, Ericsson and Sony will work to drive and develop the market’s adoption of connectivity across multiple platforms.

“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,” said Sir Howard Stringer, Sony’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. Mr Stringer also noted that the acquisition will afford Sony operational efficiencies in engineering, network development and marketing, among other areas. “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.”

“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” said Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson.

When Sony Ericsson started its operations on October 1, 2001, it combined the unprofitable handset operations from Ericsson and Sony. Following a successful turnaround the company has become a market leader in the development of feature phones by integrating Sony’s strong consumer products knowledge and Ericsson’s telecommunications technology leadership. The WalkmanTM phone and Cyber-shotTM phone are well known examples.

With the successful introduction of the P1 in 2007, Sony Ericsson early on established itself in the smartphone segment. More recently, the company has successfully made the transition from feature phones to Android-based Xperia(TM) smartphones. By the end of the third quarter of 2011, Sony Ericsson held a market share of 11 percent (by value) in the Android phone market, representing 80 percent of the company’s third quarter sales. During its ten years in operation Sony Ericsson has generated approximately EUR 1.5 billion of profit and paid dividends totalling approximately EUR 1.9 billion to its parent companies. Prominent models include “XperiaTM arc” and “XperiaTM mini” which received 2011 EISA Awards, while recent notable additions to the lineup include “XperiaTM PLAY” and “XperiaTM arc S”.

The transaction, which has been approved by appropriate decision-making bodies of both companies, is expected to close in January 2012, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Ericsson has accounted for its 50 percent share in Sony Ericsson according to the equity method. Following completion of the transaction, Ericsson will have no outstanding guarantees relating to Sony Ericsson and will no longer account for Sony Ericsson as an investment on balance sheet. The transaction will result in a positive capital gain for Ericsson which will be defined after closing of the transaction.

SEB Enskilda is acting as Ericsson’s sole financial advisor in the transaction.

[Via Engadget]

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  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Things. Just. Got. Interesting.

    • Steven Skwarkowski

      I thought the same thing but even more-so when El Goog bought Motorolas mobile line. But so far we havent seen much come to fruition. Hope this Sony thing is different. Hope they act faster (Im sure they will)

      • HalfwayCrook

        Google still doesnt have control of moto ya dumbass

        • AGx

          Man, I wanted to say that. Dumbass!

  • ARKHIVES PORTAL

    Next Xperia (fall 2012) flagship phone:

    – PS Vita’s quad-core processor/GPU
    – 12.1 MP 1080P HD @ 60 FPS Cyber-shot rear camera, 8.1 MP 1080P HD @ 30 FPS front facing camera (only 720P Droid RAZR?)
    – Built-in Walkman player/brand (excellent sound quality, compete against HTC’s BEATS partnership?)
    – New 720P 3D HD (Sony is betting big on 3D) glasses free BRAVIA (TruBlack) display to compete with Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus displays (Apple’s Retina’s displays too?)
    – PlayStation (PS1, PSN) brand integrated into Sony’s new custom Android OS overlay (Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0)
    – Built in 32GB and/or 64GB flash storage with expandable storage via Sony’s propitiatory Memory Sticks from up to 64GBs extra? (No Sony. Please stick to the standard Micro SD cards if expandable memory is an option. Don’t go changing what is not broken)
    – Wireless connection to BRAVIA, Vaio, Sony Surround Sound System, PlayStation and other Sony brands (Similar to Apple’s AirPlay and iCloud)
    – Promise of future Android OS updates! (They have improved a lot since 2010, one of Google’s close partners. Have unlocked bootloader, etc, hack friendly)
    – Slim, sexy, premium built (price as well, it’s Sony, come’on!) construction (top quality no less!)

    To name a few, feel free to add anything! Sony is a company with a wealth of rich, high quality resources and assets.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      DROOOOOOOOL

    • ChampoiKoi

      If only!!!

    • Unorthodox

      If you haven’t been to a Sony store lately, they dumped MS-only approach about 3 years ago.

    • http://www.gamefans.com/ Jeremy Davis

      I’d buy that in a heartbeat.

    • JBrowne1012

      Regular SD allows for more store than a micro though there is a cost of thickness for more than 32gbs in that switch.

  • AM3RIG

    Congrats! I am exciting to look froward their Sony’s new bada$$ phone events in future..

  • tq745

    this will push android over the top

  • Daniel

    Good because Sony phone before sucked! So hopefully Sony will come out with some really cool phones in the near future

  • hulk smash

    YEAH!!!! NEW SONY PHONE.

  • mydragoon mydragoon

    worst case scenario… new Sony ditches android and goes Windows.

    • JBrowne1012

      yet noone will care because Sony Ericson products have sucked

      • LeoDB

        PLAY, that was a very interesting concept, even though it was more of a mediocre phone in real life. unless you were a gamer… i hope they bring out some more refined phones in the future, PLAY2. that would be cool to see. ok now im wondering, sony ericsson don’t “suck” they just weren’t top of the pile, until Arc s.

  • Kevin

    Sweet, now I can have a broken phone to put next to my dead PS3.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Lol! I have a 1st gen PS3 that’s still running strong. Recently started sounding like a leaf blower….. but still running strong! =p

  • Unorthodox

    Finally! I’m going to scratch Ericsson from my X10. Always hated that name, from the time I was a Nokia fan and they were just plain Ericsson, till the times I became SE Android fan. Go Sony! Real brand power.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001094726126 Shami Fazal

    I ALWAYS HATE SONY AND LIKED ERICSSON I WANT THAT AGREEMENT WOULD BE CANCELLED PLZ SONY CANCEL THIS AGREEMENT PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    • http://www.gamefans.com/ Jeremy Davis

      Cancelling agreement of Sony Ericsson buyout?

      NOPE, Chuck Testa.

  • ari_free

    hopefully we’ll see a ‘Play’ worthy of the Sony name

  • http://www.gamefans.com/ Jeremy Davis

    I hope this means we get to see some great products by sony, I miss those days :(

  • chuckles87

    the only thing sony does is push for latest tech because of this all their products are unstable and over priced this will be good if you have to have the latest features but i will stay clear

  • rohan

    Sony ericisson doesn’t “suck” my play could pwn your little sh*t motoblur crap. Vanilla android plus gamepad plus overclocked 2.0 ghz processer
    .. burn

    • Jonathan Roman

      your 1ghz single core phone is clocked to 2ghz?

      that sounds smart