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Vocal Sony Corp investor sells stake

By | Published on Wednesday 22 October 2014

Sony Corp

Noisy Sony Corp shareholder Daniel Loeb has divested his stock in the electronics and entertainment group, which will probably please the top guard at the Japanese conglom.

As previously reported, Loeb of investment vehicle Third Point was very vocal about the changes he felt were needed at the flagging Sony business. Most notably he proposed spinning off the US-headquartered Sony entertainment divisions and selling a slice of that company to third-party investors, forcing the firm’s movie, TV and music companies to report their finances in more detail, and ultimately paving the way for Sony to sell its main entertainment assets entirely.

The Sony leadership in Tokyo didn’t like that proposal at all, though were forced to consider Loeb’s suggestions in some detail. Ultimately the entertainment spin-off plan was rejected, though some significant changes have been made elsewhere at the Corp, especially on the consumer electronics side where the firm has been struggling the most.

In a letter to investors, as reported by Deadline, in which he confirmed the divestment of the Sony shares, Loeb did give Sony Corp boss Kazuo Hirai some credit for making tough cutback decisions, but said “still, they have a long way to go and we continue to believe that more urgency will be necessary to definitively turn around the company’s fortunes”.

Nevertheless, Loeb says Third Point will “generate a return of nearly 20 percent on [the Sony] investment before exiting”.