Sony retains Blackstone

NEW YORK — Sony Corp. of Japan put investment bank the Blackstone Group on retainer, Sony said Thursday, formalizing a “long-standing relationship” in which Blackstone will “advise it on financial and strategic business issues in the United States.”

Blackstone chairman Peter Peterson is on Sony’s board, and the firm has advised Sony on issues in the past. The appointment won’t affect Sony Corp. of America’s engagement of CS First Boston to advise the company on entertainment-related strategic issues, a Sony spokeswoman said.

First Boston advised Sony on the recently announced merger of its Loews Theater group with Cineplex Odeon.

“Sony has had a long and fruitful relationship with the Blackstone Group,” Sony Corp. president Nobuyuki Idei said in a statement. “As we examine the numerous opportuni-ties created by the digital revolution and seek to implement our global strategy, we will require increased access to their considerable expertise.”

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