Sony has completed the acquisition of Ericsson's stake in the pair's former joint venture, making Sony Ericsson a wholly-owned subsidiary of the manufacturer.
Bert Nordberg [pictured] will remain as president and CEO. Ericsson received €1.05bn for its stake. In a short statement, a Sony spokesperson said: 'Sony will rename Sony Ericsson “Sony Mobile Communications”, and further integrate the mobile phone business as a vital element of its electronics business, with the aim of accelerating convergence between Sony’s lineup of network-enabled consumer electronics products, including smartphones, tablets, TVs and PCs.'
The challenge facing the business is stark. For its 2011 financial year, it made a loss of €247m with sales down 17.1% to €5.21bn. Its fourth quarter was particularly tough, with an operating loss of €227m (£189.4m), compared to operating income of €39m (£32.5m) for Q4 2010. Sales were also down in its fourth quarter to €1.29bn (£1.08bn) in 2011, from €1.53bn (£1.28bn) in 2010.
However, the manufacturer is prepared to spend big to promote its forthcoming Xperia S. The flagship device launches next month, backed by an estimated £15m marketing campaign.