New York (HedgeCo.Net) – George Clooney went on a tirade against hedge fund billionaire Daniel Loeb, who after acquiring a 7 percent stake in Sony, is looking to spin off part of its entertainment arm that will include a Hollywood movie studio and music business.
“(Loeb) calls himself an activist investor, and I would call him a carpetbagger, and one who is trying to spread a climate of fear,” Clooney said in an interview with Deadline.com.
“I’ve been reading a lot about Daniel Loeb, a hedge fund guy who describes himself as an activist but who knows nothing about our business,”Clooney said, “and he is looking to take scalps at Sony because two movies in a row underperformed? When does the clock stop and start for him at Sony? Why didn’t he include “Skyfall,” the 007 movie that grossed a billion dollars, or “Zero Dark Thirty” or ‘Django Unchained?'”
Loeb expects that spinning off a portion of the entertainment business could sharpen Sony’s focus and improve profit margins, the newspaper reported. He is also pushing for a spinoff of its insurance unit, the New York times reported.
“You can’t cherry pick a small time period and point to two films that didn’t do great. It makes me crazy. Fortunately, this business is run by people who understand that the movie business ebbs and flows and the good news is they are ignoring his calls to spin off the entertainment assets,” Clooney said.
“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. 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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