Sony to Consider Spinning Off Entertainment Division – Chief Executive

Sony May Partly Spin-Off Entertainment Business Unit

by Anton Shilov
06/19/2013 | 11:00 PM

Chief executive officer of Sony Corp., Kazuo Hirai, said at the company’s investor meeting that the company will consider spinning off its non-core entertainment business unit in a bid to concentrate on consumer electronics and financial businesses. Previously, a hedge fun proposed to sell part of the entertainment unit.

 

Kazuo Hirai said at the annual shareholders' meeting in Tokyo that the electronics firm's board of directors will consider hedge fund Third Point's suggestion to spin-off Sony profitable, non-core entertainment arm, reports Reuters news-agency. Sony Entertainment business unit includes Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment as well as Sony/ATV Music Publishing companies.

Mr. Hirai is reported to have said it was vital for Sony to rejuvenate its electronics division and to continue growth of its entertainment and financial businesses. As a result, Sony will need to either partly or completely get rid of its non-core publishing businesses that in many cases dragged the company in the past.

Third Point LLC, the hedge fund led by billionaire Daniel Loeb, which increased its stake in Sony Corp. to around 6.9% recently, recently proposed to spin-off at least 20% of Sony Entertainment as the company is regaining its edge with the new PlayStation 4 game console and Xperia smartphones, reports Bloomberg news-agency.

In the past, Mr. Hirai insisted that hardware and software businesses should be integrated.

“The entertainment arm is one of our three core pillars, along with electronics and the financial arm, so the hardware and software businesses are managed in an integrated manner,” said Kaz Hirai in a recent interview with Nikkei.