Sony directors are now discussing on whether to go ahead with Daniel Loeb’s proposal for an initial public offering of its entertainment business. The announcement was made after the company said that the assets were not for sale.
Sony shares increased 22 percent since Third Point LLC’s Loeb told Sony Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai in a letter that spinning off the entertainment assets of the company would bring a higher valuation and earn cash for the company.
Sony’s movie studio led the US box office in 2012. Its film and financial services earnings have helped offset nine straight annual losses from manufacturing TVs. Analysts said that Sony will consider how to keep the control of the company by giving up as little as possible.
Sony increased to its highest level in more than two years in Tokyo. The company gained 5.9 percent to 2,290 yen. This extended the advances this year to 139 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 1.6 percent. Sony American Depositary receipts dropped 3.3 percent to $22.15.
The board has discussed the possibility of a potential IPO. Hirai said that talks have started but declined to comment on his view on Loeb’s proposal. Third Point proposed selling at least 20 percent of the entertainment units, which included Sony’s film and television studio as well as its music business, in an IPO.
Hirai started his career in the company at its music unit. He said in the past that he doesn’t have any plans to sell the entertainment assets. Instead, he wants to build services that would link PlayStation devices, Xperia smartphones, and Bravia TVs with Sony music and movies.
Because of the speculations that Sony will take action with regards to the proposal, its stocks go up. Analysts are uncertain whether a spinoff will strengthen the company.