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Sony to Sell $1.5 Billion in Corporate Bonds in Japan

Kaz Hirai
Sony CEO Kaz Hirai

The five-year bonds, to be issued in June, will be the first sale to retail investors in Sony's history as the company looks to widen its fundraising options.

TOKYO -- Sony Corp. will issue $1.5 billion in five-year bonds June 19 to ordinary Japanese investors the company said Friday. Of that, $1.1 billion is earmarked for paying down existing debt, with the rest used for capital investment.

The entertainment and electronics giant is attempting to strengthen its financial position as it restructures under CEO Kaz Hirai, who took the reins at Sony in April 2012.

The company registered its first profit in five years in the fiscal period to March 2013, though this was achieved through asset disposals and from the benefits of a weaker yen.

The company laid out its strategy for the next three years at its global headquarters on Wednesday with a promise to return its loss-sustaining TV business to the black and concentrate on sectors such as smartphones. It also agreed to look at a proposal from hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to sell off part of its profitable entertainment division. The plan faces opposition from some of its major Japanese shareholders, who see the division as an important contributor of profits and suggest Loeb's intentions are focused on short-term gains.

The Japanese capital markets have been surging this year, with Sony stock more than doubling since January.

Twitter: @GavinJBlair