Only days after Sony Corp. CEO Kazuo Hirai maintained that he would not sell Sony Pictures (It's a profitable business to be in ... and I like to have profitable businesses in my portfolio), a prominent media analyst is saying that he finds it difficult to imagine that Sony would reject an offer, say in the neighborhood of $10 billion for the studio. Brian Wieser, senior research analyst of the Pivotal Research Group, also put forward the name of the company that should come up with that offer: CBS Corp. In a note to clients, Wieser says that CBS could use the funds it will acquire from restructuring its billboard business and from a possible sale of its publishing business, Simon & Schuster, to help fund the purchase of the studio. Referring to what some have described as Sony Pictures' bloated bureaucracy, Wieser noted that CBS chief Les Moonves could bring financial discipline to the studio and exploit numerous synergies, especially its feature-film library and television production company.
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