Unanimous rejection by Sony board members to mooted sell-off, which included PlayStation

Sony rejects bid to sell off its entertainment divisions

Sony has rejected a bid to sell off it entertainment division, led by an activist shareholder interested in boosting the fund for its electronics arm.

US shareholder Daniel Loeb, and his company Third Point, had proposed that the electronics and media giant sell parts of its film, TV and music business – constituting around a fifth of its entertainment interests, including its PlayStation division – in a move to increase cash for its core electronics arm.

However, Sony’s board has unanimously rejected the proposal, and today issued a statement to Third Point, emphasising the growing value of owning entertainment content in today’s digital and connected world.

It also said that it believes that maintaining total ownership of its divisions encourages internal collaboration and efficiency.

“Sony’s Board and management believe it has adequate capital resources to fund its business plans,” the letter read.

“Should Sony require capital, or in the event of unanticipated events, the company’s priority would be to raise capital without selling a portion of an asset fundamental to the growth strategy, and without unnecessarily burdening Sony’s ability to execute its business strategy for both entertainment and electronics.”

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai added: “We are encouraged by our progress as we continue to execute on our One Sony strategy. We have made many changes during my tenure as CEO, and we are confident that we are on the right path.

“Sony’s entertainment businesses are critical to our corporate strategy and will be important drivers of growth, and I am firmly committed to assuring their growth, to improving their profitability, and to aggressively leveraging their collaboration with our electronics and service businesses.”

Even so, Loeb has shown that he intends to pursue his campaign and engage in further talks with Sony. “Third Point looks forward to an ongoing dialogue with management and intends to explore further options to create value for Sony shareholders.”

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