NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - The building at 550 Madison Avenue will still say Sony (SNE - Get Report) at the top. And it will still house the company's New York outpost. But, it won't be owned by Sony for much longer.
Sony has agreed to sell its U.S. headquarters to a consortium of buyers for € 685 million ($1.1 billion). The buyers are led by The Chetrit Group - a Manhattan-based owner of commercial properties in New York and other major U.S. markets.
The idea's simple. Sony sells the building for a nice profit then rents back the office space. It's similar to what Nokia (NOK - Get Report) recently did with its headquarters building in Finland. Sony expects to pull $770 million in net cash out of the deal, of which $685 million, will go down as operating income which should help them attain a profitable third quarter, later this year.