Sony to Sell $379M Stake in Medical Company

Sony has been disposing of assets since last year when CEO Kaz Hirai took over
Sony has been disposing of assets since last year when CEO Kaz Hirai took over
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TOKYO -- Sony will sell part of its stake in online medical services company M3 to Deutsch Securities for $379 million (37.8 billion yen) as part of the restructuring and refocusing of the electronics to entertainment giant that CEO Kaz Hirai has been implementing.

Sony will sell 155,000 shares in M3, representing almost 10 percent of the medical-data provider's stock, on Sept. 17. The sale will reduce Sony's shareholding to 40 percent after it sold a stake in M3 to Deutsch Securities in February.

Sony will book an operating income gain of $130.5 million (13 billion yen) on the sale for the current fiscal year, to March 2014.

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Sony shares were up slightly on the news in early morning trading in Tokyo, while the Nikkei index was down a little.

Sony's stock price has more than doubled this year. It recently rose for nine days straight, finally falling back on Wednesday in Tokyo. Even the announcement Monday that the release of its new PlayStation 4 console would miss the holiday season in Japan was taken as a positive: a sign that Sony was focusing on the global market.

PlayStations, along with other flagship products, have traditionally been released in Japan first, but the new console will go on sale in the U.S. on Nov. 15 and in Europe on Nov. 29. The release for Japan has been set for Feb. 22 next year, with the company citing a lack of games for the Japanese market as the reason for the delay.

Sony says it has received more than a million pre-orders for the console. 

Twitter: @GavinJBlair

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