Activist shareholder Loeb pushes Sony to sell media assets
Wednesday, May 22, 2013/
Activist investor Dan Loeb, best known for once accusing former Yahoo! chief executive Scott Thompson of falsifying his education records, is now urging Sony to sell its media assets.
According to Reuters, Loeb, the founder and chief executive of hedge fund Third Point, recently acquired around $US1.1 billion in shares in the struggling Japanese electronics giant.
Since then, Loeb has sent a letter to Sony chief executive Kazuo Hirai arguing the electronics giant should spin off its media assets, including investments in the music industry and cinemas.
The Wall Street Journal reports Loeb’s view has found a sympathetic ear among some analysts.
“Investors look at Sony with the perception that it is an electronics company and attach the lower valuation of an electronics company to the overall firm,” said Tokyo-based Citigroup analyst Kota Ezawa.
“We think the entertainment business is undervalued.”
However, at this stage, Sony’s management is reluctant to sell its entertainment assets.
As SmartCompany reported in May of last year, Loeb accused Thompson of falsely claiming to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science in Yahoo!’s regulatory filings.
Loeb claimed Thompson had only earned a degree in accounting.
Third Point owned around 5.8% of Yahoo! at the time.
Meanwhile, Sony has struggled in the market in recent years.
By November, ratings agency Moody’s downgraded the troubled electronics maker to one notch above junk-bond status.
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