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Sony CEO prioritizes electronics operations amid shareholder requests to sell stake in entertainment division

July 11
5:01 AM 2013

Chief Executive Officer of Sony Corp. Kazuo Hirai, who is currently under pressure to sell shares of the firm's entertainment division, stated that turning around the troubled consumer electronics operation is his team's greatest priority.

Third Point LLC hedge fund, operated by private-equity Investor Daniel Loeb, is pressing the chief executive to put up for sale stakes in Sony's  music and movie businesses in a public listing. Third Point believes an IPO for its entertainment businesses would improve the Tokyo-based company's valuation of its stock price. Hirai has always highlighted the need to improve the business that makes TVs, phones and other gadgets, while the board review Loeb's suggestion.

"I don't worry about the entertainment business, it's doing just fine. Electronics is what needs the most work, " Hirai said at Allen & Co.'s annual conference yesterday.

Hirai, who is at the Sun Valley, Idaho gathering with the CEO of Sony Entertainment, Michael Lynton, said he does not consider the occasion as a place to negotiate deals. While there, Hirai networks and collect business cards instead.

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