Dec 25, 2014

Mitsui-Soko acquires Sony's logistics subsidiary

Mitsui-Soko Holdings announced on Dec. 22 that it has entered into an agreement with Sony Corporation toward the acquisition of 66% of the shares in Sony Supply Chain Solution (SSCS-J) for Y18 billion. Sony will split its Internal Procurement Office (IPO, which procures and supplies parts and materials to its international bases) and Customer Service Operation (CSO, which plans the flow of repair parts) into separate entities within the Sony Group, and then designate SSCS-J as a dedicated logistics unit. Further, Sony's logistics bases in Japan, Thailand and Malaysia will be integrated with SSCS-J, turning them into joint-venture (JV) businesses with Mitsui-Soko (with Mitsui-Soko holding a 66% stake and Sony 34%). The shares are slated to be transferred by April next year, subject to the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities.

The company that will operate the new joint venture will continue to provide logistics services to Sony, as well as tap new logistics projects with entities outside of the Group.

Sony has studied partnerships with strategic partners in a bid to reinforce the competitiveness of its logistics operations. With the launch of the above JV with Mitsui-Soko, it aims to further enhance its logistics operations, boost quality and raise its cost competitiveness.

Under its current medium-term management plan, Mitsui-Soko is concentrating its investments into the Asia Pacific region. By utilizing the vastly experienced human resources of the Sony Group, as well as its global operation system and know-how in formulating logistics plans that works together closely with the production plan, Mitsui-Soko aims to build platform-based services that take into account the entire supply chain - from the procurement of parts, up to the manufacturing and sale of goods - toward the expansion of the direct sales of its logistics business.

Prior to the acquisition of shares by Mitsui-Soko, SSCS-J will purchase all shares in Sony Supply Chain Solution (Thailand), Ltd. (SSCS-T), which is engaged in logistics business in Thailand. Meanwhile, it will put up a new company (called New Malaysian Company for now) in Malaysia that will be fully funded by SSCS-J, and Sony Supply Chain Solution (Malaysia), Ltd. (SSCS-M), which handles its logistics and IPO businesses in the country, will transfer its logistics business to the new company in Malaysia.

Sony posted Y27.8 billion in sales and Y1,423 million in operating profit (on a simple additive basis for fiscal 2013 that ended in March 2014) in its logistics businesses in SSCS-J, Thailand and Malaysia.

The names of SSCS-J, SSCS-T and the New Malaysian Company will be determined in the future upon discussion between Mitsui-Soko and Sony. By the time the transaction is completed (as per schedule), the capital of SSCS-J will reach Y1.55 billion. Seiichi Kawasaki, who is the president of SSCS-J at present, will continue to represent and lead the company.

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