Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai says the company's board will be discussing a proposal by U.S. hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb to spin off up to 20 percent of its movie, TV and music division.
Hirai was asked about the proposal at a corporate strategy presentation on Wednesday. He did not give a timetable for a decision, and would not give his own opinion about the suggestion raised by Loeb, who is CEO of hedge fund Third Point. Loeb said that the money from the sale could be used to shore up Sony's ailing electronics manufacturing unit.
While Hirai said that Sony was not keen to make its entertainment business a separate entity, it does want to make that part of the company go public. “It is an important proposal from our shareholder,'' Hirai said. “We want a constructive dialogue at all times with our shareholders.''
Sony' discussing proposal to spin off up to 20 percent of its movie, TV and music division (Image Credit: AFP)
Sony initially responded to Loeb’s proposition by saying its entertainment business was not for sale, though some analysts said the strategy might help Sony unlock value from its wealth of audio and video content.
Hirai, who has taken over as Sony's president a year back spoke about various plans to revitalizing Sony's electronics business which will focus on mobile devices, imaging and games. The company has the intention of returning its television business to profitability by promoting more expensive large-screen TVs.
The company was also been reported saying that it will focus on cameras and other imaging products that have value-added technology such as image sensors and higher-powered zooms.
While talking about re-tapping the markets in which Sony was once dominant, Hirai said, “creating new markets cannot be done without taking risks, if we cannot change we cannot grow.''
While defending Sony’s stand on having some long-serving employees move to a career development room, Hirai said “the career development room is not an office for getting rid of employees but providing re-employment assistance. We are trying to find new jobs for the employees and we will continue to do so.''
With inputs from AP