Japan isn’t most companies’ idea of a growth market. After two decades of economic malaise, it is saddled with a shrinking, aging population, and domestic firms that pride themselves on consumer electronics have kept foreign competitors at bay for decades.
In a deal that would be one of the biggest-ever foreign takeovers of a Japanese firm, Applied Materials Inc. agreed to acquire Tokyo Electron Ltd. to create to create a powerhouse provider of chip manufacturing equipment.
Hedge-fund investor Dan Loeb’s campaign to persuade Sony to spin off part of its entertainment business was beneficial for the company, Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said, making one of his first public comments since rejecting the proposal.
When U.S. hedge-fund investor Daniel Loeb said he had become Sony’s biggest shareholder in May, the media, investors and more than a few Sony employees braced for a knock-down, drag-out fight like the battle Mr. Loeb engaged in at Yahoo Inc.
Sony Corp. said its newly appointed board of directors will take its time to “appropriately” consider the proposal from U.S. hedge-fund investor Daniel Loeb to list part of its entertainment business as a way to lift the company’s stock price.
After posting an annual net loss of ¥545 billion ($5.4 billion), the biggest in its 100-year history, Sharp Corp. said it plans to replace both its president and chairman after just one year in an unusually public rebuke of former management that underscores the depth of the struggling electronics maker’s problems.