Sony mulls activist investor’s proposal to split the business

City A.M. Reporter
SONY yesterday said it will assess calls from its biggest shareholder to sell up to a fifth of its music and movies business, which includes artists such as Adele and hit franchises like Spider-Man.

Boss Kazuo Hirai said the board will “give thorough consideration” to plans put forward by Daniel Loeb of hedge fund Third Point.

Loeb argues a partial spin-off of Sony Entertainment would free up cash to help the struggling electronics division and could boost Sony’s stock price by as much as 60 per cent.

Meanwhile the firm cut its sales targets for digital cameras, smartphones and tablets by 13 to 17 per cent for the year to March 2015, but said there were “encouraging” signs of a revival in its electronics business.

Hirai, however, slashed his operating profit margin target for the gaming business to two per cent in the year to March 2015, from an earlier outlook for eight per cent.

For the current business year, Sony predicts its operating profit will be flat on last year at around ¥230bn (£1.5bn).