Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) continues to be a focal point for Dan Loeb and his Third Point hedge fund. Regulatory filings now indicate that at the end of September, the fund had a 1.64% interest in Sony shares.
What’s in (and not in) Loeb’s Third Point filing
Loeb has been pushing Sony to spin off its entertainment business for most of the year, but the company has resisted his efforts. In September, it was reported that Third Point was planning to re-register a good portion of its Sony shares under its own name, thus consolidating its position under a single shareholder. The reasoning behind this is so that Third Point would be able to file shareholder resolutions and take more direct steps in pushing for the spin-off Dan Loeb wants to see.
In August, Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) officially rejected Loeb’s proposal to spin off its entertainment business. As of September, Third Point had a 7% stake in Sony under a variety of names. It was reported that by the end of that month, Third Point would re-register approximately 3% of the stake under its name.
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However, the filing indicates a 1.64% stake in Sony under the Third Point name, according to Reuters. It isn’t clear if this amount is an increase in Third Point’s overall stake in Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) or whether the firm has made progress in re-registering its shares.
The Sony controversy
The battle over Sony’s entertainment division has gone on for months, with some analysts siding with Dan Loeb against Sony and others taking Sony’s side in the controversy. The debate has even dragged in some Hollywood stars, including George Clooney, who attacked Loeb over Sony, and Ashton Kutcher, who took a more neutral position on the topic.
As with most activist battles, this tug-o-war is probably only going to get worse, especially after Third Point finishes consolidating its entire stake under its own name.