News Column

U.S. Hedge Fund Boosts Stake in Sony

June 18, 2013

U.S. hedge fund Third Point LLC said Tuesday that it had increased its stake in Sony Corp to 6.9 per cent, putting more pressure on the Japanese electronics company to spin off its film and music business.

In a letter sent to Sony president and chief executive Kazuo Hirai, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb said it had raised stake in Sony to 70 million shares valued at $1.4 billion (136.5 billion yen) from 64 million shares.

"Given our large stake, we reiterate our offer to serve on Sony's board of directors," Loeb said.

Loeb proposed in May that Sony turn its entertainment arm into a separate company and sell a stake of 15 to 20 percent in an initial public offering.

"We expect that this transaction will strengthen rather than diminish Sony's ability to exploit meaningful synergies between the entertainment and electronics divisions, a goal we share," Loeb said.

"Although we have not yet been asked to discuss our ideas with the company's investment bankers or board, we would like to do so promptly," the letter said.

Sony returned to the black for the first time in five years in the previous financial year that ended in March, thanks to a weaker yen and rising share prices.

Hirai, who took office in April 2012, vowed to turn the business around as Sony has been left far behind rivals such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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