Third Point is no longer listed as one of Sony Corporation’s ten largest investors in regulatory filings, but the company is still a shareholder in the troubled technology maker, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.
How the hedge fund owns its shares in Sony, shifting its position between shares and swaps, affects its ranking, the individual said.
The hedge fund’s head Daniel Loeb was a bramble in the side of Sony’s leadership last summer, writing a series of letters in which he slammed the company’s studio and its big budget flops such as “White House Down” and “After Earth.” He pushed unsuccessfully for Sony to spin off its entertainment assets into a separate company.
Loeb’s calls carried weight, because at the time his fund claimed to be Sony’s largest shareholder with a 7 percent stake. Sony’s largest shareholder is now Moxley & Company with nearly an 8 percent position, according to filings.
Third Point had a 1.6 percent stake in Sony as of September, making it the company’s fifth largest stakeholder, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Although Sony’s board of directors rejected Loeb’s push for a spin-off, the company did say it was changing its green-lighting process for films and announced it would cut more than $100 million in overhead at the studio. This month, Sony said it will sell off its PC business and overhaul its TV operations.
It stands to lose more than $1 billion in its current fiscal year.
In a letter to investors last month, Loeb wrote, “All eyes are focused on management to reach its margin targets both within the Electronics and Entertainment divisions over the course of the coming year. We have high hopes for CEO [Kaz] Hirai and his lieutenants to continue their path towards greater profitability and to make difficult decisions when necessary to reach those goals.”
A spokesman for Sony and a spokeswoman for Third Point declined to comment.