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Sony wants to raise €3.2 billion so your phone can take better pictures

The company hopes to return to long-term profit by boosting its production on image sensors for smartphone and digital cameras.

Sony provides image sensors for a number of smartphones like the iPhone 6.
Sony provides image sensors for a number of smartphones like the iPhone 6.
Image: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

SONY IS PLACING its faith in its growing image sensor business and it’s planning to raise more than 441 billion yen (€3.2 billion) to help grow it.

The company is raising the funds by selling shares and convertible bonds as it looks for ways to turn its business around.

Image sensors, a key component in smartphone and digital camera, has turned into one of Sony’s strongest sectors alongside the Playstation. The company has a 40% market share thanks to its partnerships with Apple and Samsung.

While it recorded a net loss of 126 billion yen (€920 million), it expects a profit of 140 billion yen (€1.02 billion) in the current year. As a way of returning to long-term profit, the company has spun-off different businesses like TVs, PCs and its video and audio business.

Its shares plunged 8.25% Tuesday on dilution fears after the Japanese electronics giant announced its plans.

The stock closed at 3,461.5 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, down 8.25% from the previous day, while the benchmark index ended up 0.63%.

Of the 441 billion yen it plans to raise, 321.5 billion yen will be procured though new issuance and a secondary offering of shares. It is the first new share issuance in 26 years, the company said.

The company plans to raise another 119.9 billion yen in bonds that can be converted into stocks.

“As financing this size is unusual, it’s only natural that the stock fell in accordance with an expected dilution” of per-share value, said Hirokazu Kabeya, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The announcement came with players unsettled by events in Europe, where Greece is lurching towards a default on its debt.

“The timing wasn’t good as the market was already roiled over the Greek problem,” he told AFP.

(Additional reporting by Quinton O’Reilly)

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