Tribune (TRBAAA) Buys Gracenote From Sony (SNE) for $170 Million

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Sony (SNE) announced Monday it will sell Gracenote to Tribune (TRBAA) for $170 million.

Gracenote is best known as the database that Apple (AAPL) uses to identify music tracks in its iTunes software. In addition to its database of music information, Gracenote offers a service that can identify movies and TV shows by using smartphone and tablet microphones to analyze soundtracks and dialogue.

Tribune, which owns both the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, will use Gracenote to boost its "core competencies" CEO Peter Ligouri said in the press release. The media company's Tribune Media Services already has a large database of entertainment metadata, which Gracenote will add to.

The deal is expected to close before the end of Sony's fiscal year, which ends on March 31, 2014. The company expects to see a $60 million gain from the sale after writedowns it recorded on the value of Gracenote's assest.

TheStreet Ratings team rates SONY CORP as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate SONY CORP (SNE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed ? some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, good cash flow from operations and growth in earnings per share. However, as a counter to these strengths, we find that the company's profit margins have been poor overall."

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