Sony Considers Plan to Spin-Off Music and Movies Business

Created: 2013-05-23 19:59 EST

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Sony cut its sales targets for digital cameras, smartphones and tablets by 13-17 percent for the year to end-March 2015, but said there were "encouraging" signs of a revival in its electronics business.

CEO Kazuo Hirai told a news briefing on Wednesday (May 22) that Sony would assess a proposal from its biggest shareholder, billionaire Daniel Loeb's Third Point LLC hedge fund, that the group should sell up to a fifth of its music and movies business. This includes artists such as Adele and hit franchises like "Spider-Man".

Loeb argues a partial spin-off of Sony Entertainment would free up cash to help the struggling electronics division and could boost Sony's stock price by 60 percent.

Sony trimmed its 2014-15 camera sales target to 12.7 billion and now expects smartphone and tablet sales of nearly 15 billion.

Sony, which expects smartphone sales to rise by more than a quarter in the current year to end-March, is battling with China's Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp and South Korea's LG Electronics for third place in the $225 billion U.S. dollar global market behind Samsung Electronics and Apple Inc.