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Sony shares rally as Loeb ups his stake

June 18, 2013: 2:36 PM ET

Dan Loeb's Third Point upped its stake in Sony.

You're doing better Sony (SNE), but not good enough... yet.

That's the latest message from Dan Loeb, the firebrand hedge fund manager known for vociferously agitating for changes at some of the world's largest tech firms.

In a sign of "increased confidence," Loeb's Third Point hedge fund increased its stake in Sony to 70 million shares, or roughly 7%, from 6% in May.

Related: Hedge fund targets Sony for spin-off

At least part of Loeb's confidence seems to come from an expectation that the company will eventually do as he says. Loeb is pushing Sony to execute a partial spin-off of its entertainment division through an IPO, which would keep its electronics division separate.

Sony has repeatedly said the entertainment division is not for sale.

Loeb's involvement in the future of a company is a double-edged sword that cuts for or more often against management incumbents. If Loeb gets his way, Sony's CEO, Kazuo Hirai, would see his control over Sony diminished.

In a letter to Hirai obtained by CNNMoney, the activist investors best known for pushing for change at Yahoo! (YHOO) reiterated his request for a board seat.

Calling Sony's Entertainment division, a "sleeping giant,"  Loeb said that division needs a new board composed of individuals with "deep knowledge of media, entertainment, and digital technology."

A Sony spokesperson reiterated that the company will conduct an appropriate review of the Third Point proposal, but would not comment on specifics.

Sony may not have had much to say but StockTwits traders did.

Sony Shareholder Meeting Approaches as Loeb Ups Pressure $SNE

Should be an interesting meeting. Neither Hirai nor the board has invited Loeb to discuss his proposals in person. They'll be gathering in Tokyo this Thursday.

Investors quickly responded to Loeb's latest overtures. The stock has been up more than 3% for the bulk of the day.

Sony shares have been bolstered by Dan Loeb's overtures.

$SNE I applaud Kazuo Hirai for what he`s accomplished since taking over SNE,but, now its time to start listening to its shareholders.

With a partially, semi-autonomous entertainment division, Loeb has said he wants Hirai to remain chairman of both boards--  a consolation prize of sorts if Loeb wins this battle.

Riding the Dan Loeb train! $SNE rallying on news the activist hedge fund manager has upped his stake. What's next for Sony?

A lot of similarities btw Dan Loeb's plan for $SNE and the equity carve-out of ESPN/broadcast division of $DIS idea I had 1/2 a decade ago

One trader on StockTwits thinks that Loeb might find a band of Sony brothers willing to go to battle with him.

$SNE its only a matter of time before other hedgies smell Blood and join Loeb in this spin off. Think Carl I?
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Maureen Farrell
Maureen Farrell
Staff writer, CNNMoney

Maureen Farrell is a staff writer at CNNMoney and covers Wall Street, banking, mergers and the stock and bond markets. Prior to joining CNNMoney, she covered venture capital and entrepreneurs for Forbes, and mergers and bankruptcy for Mergermarket and Debtwire, both divisions of the Financial Times.

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