Sony formally quits Sharp LCD joint venture, takes back every yen it invested
After Sony cut off its supply of capital to the ill-fated Sakai production plant that it jointly owns with Sharp, it became clear that the final goodbye may be little more than a formality. And here it is, in the form of a cold, resolute press release stating that Sony is selling its seven percent stake back to Sharp and taking back the 10 billion yen ($126 million) it originally invested. The only reason given is the “rapidly changing market for LCD panels and LCD televisions,” which is a polite reference to the fact that profits from big TVs are well below what these companies predicted back in the heady days of 2008 and early 2009, when the impact of the global economic crisis loomed without yet being fully apparent. Fortunately for Sony, which is in the delicate stages of reform, the solid pre-nuptial agreement it had in place with Sharp should protect the company from having to revise its financial forecasts for the coming year — not that those were particularly great in the first place.