Sony (SNE - Get Report) is engaging in dialogue with Third Point and its founder, Daniel Loeb, amid the activist hedge fund's second push for the Japanese electronics and entertainment company to spin off its semiconductor business, the Financial Times reported.
In a letter to its investors circulated Thursday, Third Point said that from its vantage point Sony's stock is undervalued and that the company's portfolio needs to be less complicated. The firm said it has invested $1.5 billion in building an equity position in Sony.
In addition to spinning off its semiconductor business, Third Point is recommending the conglomerate sell its stakes in insurer Sony Financial Holdings Inc., health-care services firm M3 Inc. manufacturer Olympus Corp. and music-streaming service Spotify.
The Financial Times reported that Sony executives have so far received Third Point's suggestions favorably, and are interested in further discussing the firm's recommended approach to extracting additional value for Sony shareholders.
Third Point's push marks the second time in six years that the $15 billion hedge fund has targeted Sony. Loeb tried to rally shareholder support for a spinoff of the company's movie and music assets in 2013.
Third Point had about a 7% stake in Sony in 2013, but the company rejected its proposal and Third Point sold its stake in 2014.
American depositary receipts of Sony were up 1.9% to $50.60 in premarket trading on Friday.