Sony Corp. rejected the proposal made by billionaire Daniel Loeb to sell part of its entertainment business. The company said that 100 percent ownership of the music and film units is vital to the company’s success.
The decision of the board was unanimous. This was according to the statement released by Sony via email. The company will start giving more disclosure about its entertainment business beginning with the second quarter. Loeb’s Third Point LLC hedge fund was disappointed with the decision made by Sony and intended to explore other options to give more value for Sony shareholders.
Sony Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai supports the unified business that includes the manufacturing of TVs and mobile devices that can include film and music content to contribute to the company’s bottom line after years of losses from its electronics unit. Third Point has a 6.9 percent stake in Sony and urged the board to sell as much as 20 percent of entertainment assets as part of an initial public offering.
Third Point said Sony management must disclose its plans with regards to improving the profitability of its entertainment units. The company stated in an email statement that Sony knew about the performance issues. It suggested Sony must decrease bureaucracy and free up resources in order to get better results.
Sony dropped 5.4 percent to 2,021 yen in Tokyo. This was the largest decline since May 27. In 2013 so far, the stock has more than doubled its value due to the optimism that Hirai can turn around the electronics business of the company.
Financial advisers of the company met with Third Point in the past month. They studied 30 cases of IPOs that started as partial spinoffs and ended becoming fully separated or being bought back by the parent company. This was according to people familiar with the issue.
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