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Sony sells its Madison Ave. headquarters for $1.1 billion

In an attempt to shore up its finances, the ailing electronics giant sells off one of its major U.S. assets.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Sony sells its Madison Avenue building. Sony

Sony announced today that it is selling its U.S. headquarters building located on Madison Avenue in New York City to a real estate consortium headed by The Chetrit Group. The sale price for the 37-story building is $1.1 billion.

"Given the opportunities and challenges in the current economic and real estate landscape, selling 550 Madison now is a timely and logical strategic move," Sony Corporation of America President Nicole Seligman said in the statement, according to Bloomberg.

The sale of Sony's assets is a longtime coming. The company has struggled over the past few years with increased competition and sluggish television sales. Along with getting rid of many of its assets, Sony is also cutting 10,000 jobs. The company is also reportedly looking to sell its Tokyo building for between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.

After paying back debt related to its Madison Avenue building, Sony plans to keep around $770 million from this sale.

"Sony is undertaking a range of initiatives to strengthen its financial foundation and business competitiveness and for future growth," the company said in a statement. "At the same time, Sony is balancing cash inflows and outflows while working to improve its cash flow by carefully selecting investments, selling assets and strengthening control of working capital such as inventory. This sale is made as a part of such initiatives."

While Sony is selling 550 Madison, several of its businesses -- including Sony Music Entertainment, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and others -- will stay in the building for the next couple of years.

The deal between Sony and The Chetrit Group is expected to close in March.