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TOKYO – Third Point, the hedge fund run by Daniel Loeb that has been pressuring Sony to spin off part of its entertainment arm, was listed as holding 1.64 percent of the Japanese corporation’s stock in a filing with authorities in Tokyo on Monday.
The name of the hedge fund showed up in the quarterly filing for the first time, meaning Third Point has increased the amount of stock held in its own name, though not necessarily its overall stake.
The fund has previously issued statements saying it holds up to 7 percent of Sony stock, making it the largest single shareholder. These shares are believed to be held under a number of different names to avoid the need to register with the Japanese financial authorities.
Any single individual, fund or company that owns more than 5 percent of a listed corporation’s stock in Japan, must register that interest and declare any further transactions in the stock. Hedge funds are often particularly keen on keeping their transactions below the radar.
With a stake of more than 1 percent in Sony in its own name, the hedge fund can now make official proposals to the company at shareholder meetings. However, Loeb has already been putting pressure on Sony this year with his proposal to sell off part of its entertainment business. Sony rejected the idea, but CEO Kazuo Hirai later said the increased focus on the division was a positive.
Although Sony Pictures has been a bright spot for the company in recent years, in its quarterly results announced on Oct. 31, the division was in the red following the poor performances of films including White House Down.
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