Sony has agreed to sell its U.S. headquarters building in New York City for $1.1 billion, according to Reuters. The buyer is a consortium led by the Chetrit Group, a real-estate development firm. The sale of Sony’s U.S. headquarters attracted more than 20 bidders including Vornado Realty Trust, Mortimer Zuckerman’s Boston Properties as well as Mitsubishi Trust, Mitsui Fudosan. After repayment of debt, Sony will receive net cash of about $770 million. The company expects to book a gain on the sale of about $685 million. Reuters notes that it previously reported that Sony is seeking a buyer for one of its buildings in Tokyo; price tag is 100 billion yen, or about $1.14 billion.
The Sony building, located on Madison Avenue between 55th and 56th St., was constructed in the early 1980s by the once mighty AT&T, once the largest U.S. corporation before the U.S. Department of Justice pressured it to break up into smaller companies. Sony bought the building in 1992 for $236 million. The lavish Sony building, with its high ceilings, provides opportunities to redevelop part of the building as a hotel or apartments, space that now commands higher prices than offices.