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Sony selling U.S. headquarters for $1.1 billion

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Sony Corporation of America will sell its headquarters, a 37-story building at 550 Madison Avenue in New York City, to real estate consortium The Chetrit Group for $1.1 billion, the company announced today.

The sale is expected to close in March.

Sony expects the sale of its Madison Avenue property to bring a net proceeds of about $770 million, once it has paid transaction costs and all remaining debts tied to the building. Sectors of Sony, including Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment, will continue to work at 550 Madison for up to three more years under a leaseback agreement with the building's buyer.

In a statement, Sony noted that selling the building is part of its initiative to "strengthen its financial foundation and business competitiveness" with an eye towards the company's future growth. This is the latest in a series of Sony initiatives meant to improve the company's cash flow, according to the statement.

After the building's sale, the company will rework its financial forecast for the year, currently predicted as a 20 billion yen ($223 million) net profit for the fiscal year ending on March 31. The company is expecting the sale to bring in an operating-income gain of about $685 million.