Sony’s Board Rejects Third Point Proposal to Split Semiconductor, Entertainment Businesses

9:45 AM, Sep 17, 2019 — Sony (SNE) said its board has “unanimously” rejected a proposal from activist investor Dan Loeb’s Third Point that called for a split from the entertainment, saying it decided the “best strategy” for enhancing corporate value over the long term would be to keep its semiconductor business.

The semiconductor business, now called the imaging and sensing solutions unit, is a key driver of growth for Sony and is expected to create “even more value going forward through its close collaboration with the other businesses and personnel within the group,” according to a statement Tuesday.

In July, Third Point said Sony should spin off and publicly list the semiconductor business, splitting the Japanese multinational into an entertainment and technology company.

“We appreciate Third Point’s strong interest in Sony and welcome the fact that many people have been reminded of the value and further growth opportunities of that business,” Sony said in its statement.

The semiconductor business is expected to grow in new markets including the internet of things and in self-driving vehicles, the company said. Still, Sony said it would continue to evaluate its business portfolio and “pursue asset optimization within each business.”

The company said it’s taken steps in recent years to realign its portfolio, including pulling out of personal computing and selling its battery unit. It has grown profit and sales in its game and network services segment as well as the music unit.

In late July, Sony reported fiscal 2020 first-quarter sales of 1.93 trillion Japanese yen ($17.8 billion) missed the 1.94 trillion yen average analyst estimate compiled by Capital IQ due to lower sales from its electronics business.

Companies: Sony Corp Ord
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