The Real Deal New York

Sony toys with the fate of their Midtown HQ

June 13, 2012 01:30PM

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Sony CEO Kaz Hirai and 550 Madison Avenue

On the heels of a record $5.7 billion loss during the last fiscal year, Sony is weighing selling the 37-story Midtown skyscraper that serves as its U.S. headquarters, the New York Post reported. Sony has been engaged in talks with the private equity firm Blackstone Group over the various options for, including the possible sale of, their solely owned U.S. headquarters at 550 Madison Avenue, which is said to be worth between $700 million and $1 billion. Sony has also considered the possibility of renting out a major section of the property, or selling and leasing back a portion. “It’s a big asset on their balance sheet,” a real estate executive who declined to be identified, said.

Recently, Sony has been out shopping for New York commercial real estate with Blackstone as it weighs its options. Sony executives recently toured a 479,008-square-foot space at the former New York Times building, at 229 West 43rd Street in Times Square, which is owned by Blackstone. One source told the New York Post, however, that Sony has already passed on the building. Microsoft and Viacom have also recently toured the space.

Sony originally purchased their Madison Avenue headquarters in 1992 from AT&T. Currently the building houses their music and movies divisions and their corporate offices. In April, Sony CEO Kaz Hirai announced that the company would cut 6 percent of their global workforce — some 10,000 job. [NYP]

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