The attached letter from Third Point was sent to Sony Corp.
Mr. Kazuo Hirai
President and CEO
7-1, Konan 1-Chome, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 108-0075 Japan
Dear Mr. Hirai:
Sony Corporation (“Sony” or “the Company”) appears to be regaining its competitive edge. Recent highlights include the debut of PlayStation 4 with its consumer-friendly approach to next-generation gaming and Xperia, which recently overtook Apple as the #1 smartphone in Japan. We expect the upcoming Xperia Z Ultra to generate similar success in Europe and were pleased to see Vodafone’s CEO using an Xperia Z in a recent meeting.
As a sign of our increased confidence in the Company’s direction under your leadership, funds managed by Third Point LLC (“Third Point”) have increased their stake in Sony to 70 million shares valued at ¥136.5 billion ($1.4 billion), held via 46 million shares of ordinary stock valued at ¥89.7 billion ($944 million) and economic exposure to 24 million shares valued at ¥46.8 billion ($492 million) through cash-settled swaps. Given our large stake, we reiterate our offer to serve on Sony’s Board of Directors.
Another sign of progress is the news that the Company has retained financial advisors to help evaluate our proposal to publicly list a minority stake in Sony Entertainment (“Entertainment”) through a rights offering backstopped by Third Point. We remain convinced that the proposed transaction will strengthen the Company as a whole. The newly-listed entity will thrive with a governance structure which focuses on increasing profitability, competitiveness and accountability. We expect that this transaction will strengthen rather than diminish Sony’s ability to exploit meaningful synergies between the Entertainment and Electronics divisions, a goal we share.
Our proposal is a simple one: it contemplates a semi-independent governance structure. We believe that you, Mr. Hirai, should serve as Chairman of both Boards, to promote synergies between Entertainment and
Sony Corporation. Part 1