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Sony said to be in talks to sell PC business to Japan fund

Sony may sell its PC operations to an investment fund -- not hook up with Lenovo as previous reports had claimed.

Vaio laptop: Sony is looking to get out of the PC business and focus on smartphones.
Vaio laptop: Sony is looking to get out of the PC business and focus on smartphones.

Sony is in talks to sell its money-losing PC business to an investment fund and focus on smartphones, according to a Japan-based report.

The Japanese electronics giant is in discussions with Japan Industrial Partners, an investment fund, to "unload its sluggish personal computer operations," according to a report in Wednesday's Nikkei.

The fund will establish a new company that would take over Sony's entire PC business, the report said. The sale price is estimated to be 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($391 million to $489 million), Nikkei reported.

An earlier rumor that Sony was in talks with Lenovo is untrue, Sony told CNET in a statement.

"A press report on February 1, 2014, stated that Sony ... is discussing with Lenovo Group the possible establishment of a joint venture for the PC business. As Sony has announced previously, Sony continues to address various options for the PC business, but the press report on a possible PC business alliance between Sony and Lenovo is inaccurate."

CNET reached out to Sony about the Japan Industrial Partners report, but the company has yet to respond.

The new company "would continue to sell PCs under the Vaio brand and also handle after-sales service," Nikkei said, adding that Sony would only take a small stake in the firm.

Sony's PC business is now losing money, Nikkei said. It has a staff of about 1,000.

PC shipments fell 10 percent in 2013, returning to 2009 levels, marking the worst decline ever, market researcher Gartner said in January.