The Swedish telecom company Ericsson said Thursday that they will sell their 50-per cent stake in mobile phone joint venture Sony Ericsson to Sony for 1.05 billion euros (US$1.47 billion). Rumors of this acquisition have been around for some time already.

“Sony will acquire Ericsson’s 50 per cent stake in Sony Ericsson… making the mobile handset business a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The Japanese-Swedish group was created in 2001, but now the “Divorce” is a fact, after ten years together.

“Ten years ago when we formed the joint venture, thereby combining Sony’s consumer products knowledge with Ericsson’s telecommunication technology expertise, it was a perfect match to drive the development of feature phones,” Ericsson chief executive Hans Vestberg said in the statement.

“Today we take an equally logical step as Sony acquires our stake in Sony Ericsson and makes it a part of its broad range of consumer devices,” he said, pointing out that the Swedish company aimed to concentrate on the wireless market as a whole, “using our R&D (research and development) and industry leading patent portfolio to realise a truly connected world.”

The market share of Sony Ericsson mobile market has plummeted in recent years. Five years ago, they had a 9 percent market share, while it is now down to 1.7 percent.

“The transaction will result in a positive capital gain for Ericsson which will be defined after closing of the transaction,” the company said.

The transaction is expected to close in January 2012.


Read the full press release here.