The deal for Sony’s 68.9-million-share stake is worth ¥80.4 billion, or about $756.7 million, Reuters reported. Hedge fund Third Point, run by activist investor Daniel Loeb, had called for Sony to divest its Olympus shares, although a Sony spokeswoman told the wire service that the sale wasn’t made in reaction to any demand by shareholders. Sony is still reviewing Third Point’s proposals, the spokeswoman said.
Sony bought an 11% stake in Olympus for $640 million in 2012, forming Sony Olympus Medical Solutions to develop high-definition surgical endoscopes and microscopes.
The company said it decided to sell “considering that the initial purpose of the capital alliance to establish collaboration between Sony and Olympus has been accomplished and after reviewing the rationale for owning the Olympus shares,” according to Reuters.
SNE shares were flat at $56.69 apiece today in late morning trading in New York; the stock closed up 2.3% at ¥6,042.00 per share in Tokyo. Olympus shares jumped 3.6% to $11.63 each in New York, after closing up 6.8% at ¥1,244.00 in Tokyo.
($1 = ¥106.232)