“It’s premature at this point in time to speculate one way or the other,” Sony president and CEO Kazuo Hirai told CNBC today when asked whether an investor proposal to sell off portions of the company’s entertainment assets will succeed. The Sony chief made his comments as the company hired Morgan Stanley and Citi to review the proposal from shareholder Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund Third Point. “The process really is, as was described earlier, a discussion that needs happen really at the board level of the organization and we want to make sure that we have a through discussion of the merits of the proposal before we come to any conclusion,” he told the business network. Any discussion of Third Point’s proposal will have to wait until the new Sony board is elected later this month.
Sony said last week that it would consider a proposal from Loeb’s Third Point that the company create a separate stock for its TV, film and music businesses and sell up to 20% of its entertainment unit to the public. Loeb has suggested the money could be used to shore up the flagging electronics divisions of the corporation. However, Hirai has said repeatedly he considers the entertainment assets to be important parts of Sony.