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Alternative Market Briefing

Daniel Loeb raises stakes in Sony, adds pressure to spin off entertainment arm

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

From Precy Dumlao, Opalesque Asia – Hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb on Monday raised his stakes in Sony Corp. by an additional 5 million shares, bringing his total shares to 70 million through director ownership and cash-settled swaps. This will increase the pressure on Sony to discuss Loeb’s proposal to start an IPO for its entertainment business.

According to a report by Business Week, Sony’s Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai confirmed that Loeb’s Third Point LLC now has 6.9% of the Tokyo-based company’s shares on issue.

Loeb’s spin off proposal was a reiteration of last month’s proposal. Hirai said they would be discussing the suggestion to sell around 20% of the firm’s music and movie assets through an initial public offering, in order to boost Sony’s consumer electronics profits.

By taking the movie and music unit public, Mr. Loeb says, the business would benefit from the scrutiny of being a public company and the guidance of a board independent from Sony’s electronics business, reports the WSJ . Taking these measures would help lift Sony’s stock price, Loeb believes.

Sony’s new board, which will take over after the company’s shareholder meeting on Thursday, will study Loeb’s proposal. Hirai has not of......................

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