Sony in talks to sell Vaio PC business for £300 million

Sony may soon be selling its personal computer business Vaio amid struggling sales, according to recent reports.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported that Sony was in talks to offload Vaio to the investment fund Japan Industrial Partners for an estimated 40 billion yen (£300 million), in order to focus on smartphones.

It is rumoured that Sony has been working with Microsoft on a Windows phone, with a launch date hinted at around mid-2014.

In the new deal with the investment fund, the Vaio brand would continue to operate under the same name.

Many of the 1,000-strong staff that work for the PC business would continue to work for the new company, though Nikkei reports that others would be transferred to other departments within Sony.

The sale would potentially lead to Sony's first net loss in two years as a result of disposal losses.

Between January and September last year, Sony held a 1.9 per cent market share of all PCs shipped worldwide, however, Sony PC shipments are predicted to fall from 8.7 million units in 2013 to 5.8 million units this year.

Initial rumours suggested that the Japanese firm could be selling its PC business to China-based Lenovo. Sony was quick to deny these claims but did not reveal its actual intentions with regards to Vaio.

"A press report on February 1, 2014 stated that Sony Corporation is discussing with Lenovo Group the possible establishment of a joint venture for the PC business," the statement read.

"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."