(Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp. intends to take its finance unit private for about 400 billion yen ($3.7 billion), the Nikkei reported Tuesday, buying out one of its most lucrative businesses.
The electronics giant intends to acquire the rest of Sony Financial this summer, the newspaper reported. Shares in Sony Financial Holdings Inc. surged 17% Tuesday, their biggest intraday gain since 2010, while the parent gained more than 3%. Company spokesman Takashi Iida declined to comment.
Sony last week warned that operating profit could fall 30% or more because of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on production and consumption. The financial services business, one of its most profitable, had seen a deterioration because its sales people can’t go out to pitch customers on insurance and other products, it said. The difficulty in projecting future performance for that unit affected Sony’s ability to give a companywide forecast for the year.
Chief Executive Officer Kenichiro Yoshida has overhauled the technology icon in recent years to focus on franchises such as sensors for smartphone cameras and the PlayStation games business. Activist investor Dan Loeb has pushed for a sale of the finance operation but Yoshida has said the division, which sells insurance policies among other services, is integral to enhancing the company’s value.
Read more: Sony Slides After Warning of 30% Profit Drop in Fiscal Year
(Updates with share action from the second paragraph)
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