Third Point's Dan Loeb Makes Nice With George Clooney Over Sony Row

 @AlexCKaufman
on August 07 2013 11:23 AM
dan loeb
Daniel S. Loeb, founder of Third Point LLC, participates in a panel discussion during the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) Conference in Las Vegas, May 9, 2012. Reuters

Hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb apparently bowed to George Clooney on Wednesday, five days after the actor called him a “carpetbagger” over his rejected proposal to spin off Sony Corporation’s (NYSE:SNE) entertainment division.

“Notwithstanding the fact that the media likes to create a stir, I admire Mr. Clooney’s passion for Sony and his loyalty to Sony and his friends there,” Loeb said of Clooney in an interview with Variety. “We are all for intelligent investment in creative content. I believe our interests are aligned in a way he probably doesn’t realize.”

Loeb, an activist investor who owns about 7 percent of Sony, last year led the charge to depose Yahoo’s former chief executive, Scott Thompson, and replace him with Marissa Mayer.  Loeb also praised Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai for a letter the electronics executive wrote rejecting Loeb’s plan to split up to 20 percent of the Japanese company’s entertainment assets into a separate entity. Loeb said the letter was “thoughtfully written and detailed in its discussion of profitability and transparency. There was a lot there for shareholders to hang their hats on.”

Clooney previously called it “crazy’ that Loeb had “any weight in this conversation at all.”

“How any hedge fund guy can call for responsibility is beyond me, because if you look at those guys, there is no conscience at work. It is a business that is only about creating wealth, where when they fail, they get bailed out and where nobody gets fired,” the two-time Academy Award winner said in an interview with Deadline Hollywood, Variety’s sister publication. “A guy from a hedge fund entity is the single least-qualified person to be making these kinds of judgments, and he is dangerous to our industry.”

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