Sony rejects entertainment sell-off proposal

An attempt by an ‘activist shareholder’ to force Sony into an entertainment spin-off has been rejected by Sony.

Reuters reports that shareholder Daniel Loeb had proposed that Sony sell parts of its movie, TV and music business – constituting around a fifth of its entertainment interests – in an attempt to raise cash to inject into its electronics arm.

The campaign, run by Loeb’s company Third Point, has been underway for three months. Loeb was previously involved with similar activism at Yahoo and is widely credited with the removal of former CEO Scott Thompson.

Sony has a long tradition of keeping both hardware and content in-house, however, and Sony’s board rejected the proposal unanimously.

"Sony’s board of directors has unanimously concluded that continuing to own 100 per cent of our entertainment business is the best path forward and is integral to Sony’s strategy," Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said in a letter to Loeb.

Loeb has indicated that he intends to maintain his campaign and engage in further talks with Sony, adding: "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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