Sony shares rise after Loeb pressure spurs it to sell Olympus stake

Stock jumps more than 2% on news of €688m sale of medical equipment maker

Sony  has been under renewed pressure from US activist investor Daniel Loeb to unwind a series of holdings. Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno

Sony has been under renewed pressure from US activist investor Daniel Loeb to unwind a series of holdings. Photograph: Yoshikazu Tsuno

 

Sony’s decision to sell its stake in Olympus was cheered by investors on Friday, as hopes strengthened the Japanese conglomerate would offload more of a sprawling set of holdings that range from Spotify to medical information provider M3.

The Japanese group has been under renewed pressure from US activist investor Daniel Loeb to unwind a series of holdings that he claims have depressed Sony’s share price.

Sony stock jumped more than 2 per cent following the company’s announcement late on Thursday that it would sell its 5 per cent stake in medical equipment maker Olympus.

Second campaign

The 80.4 billion yen (€688 million) sale of the Olympus stake comes little more than two months after Third Point, Mr Loeb’s hedge fund, launched its second campaign against the Japanese entertainment and technology group.

Even before Mr Loeb’s second campaign, Sony had been divesting its noncore stakes, reducing its holding of M3 twice in the past six years and selling off part of its stake in Spotify when the music-streaming service went public in April 2018. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019