Sony CEO: Dan Loeb Helped Put Spotlight on Entertainment Assets

2012-39 REP Kaz Hirai H

in response to a query from THR, Sony chief executive Hirai says in a statement: "There is absolutely no truth to rumors that Sony's entertainment businesses are for sale."

Kazuo Hirai describes his relationship with Loeb and his hedge fund as "fairly good" and acknowledges his firm's studio should refine its movie greenlighting process.

In one of his first public comments since rejecting a proposal by activist shareholder Dan Loeb to spin off part of Sony Corp.'s entertainment business, CEO Kazuo Hirai said Thursday that the initiative was "actually a good thing."

Telling the Wall Street Journal, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, that he continues to believe Sony was better off fully owning its film and music operations, he said: "I have a fairly good relationship with the folks from [Loeb's hedge fund] Third Point, including Dan."

Hirai did acknowledge, however, that Loeb's push was warranted to some degree, particularly in highlighting the need for greater transparency in the entertainment operations.

"Dan Loeb and Third Point shed a light on the entertainment properties that we've been trying to shed a light on for the longest time," Hirai told the Journal.

The CEO also acknowledged that profit margins in Sony's entertainment business should be higher and that the film unit should refine its movie greenlighting process, according to the Journal. He didn't provide further details.

Sony is scheduled to hold investor events focused on its entertainment assets in November.

Twitter: @georgszalai