Leaked emails emanating from a hack attack of Sony Pictures have revealed that movie production company Lions Gate Entertainment wanted to discuss a merger with Sony Corp.

The emails make it clear that Michael Burns, vice president of Lions Gate wanted to meet with Sony Corp CEO Kazuo Hirai in the summer of 2013 to discuss a possible merger or acquisition.

Hirai declined the meeting, although there was evidence he was interested in some sort of collaboration between the studios.

Hirai wrote: "Given our entertainment business strategy, I don't believe a meeting with me would be fruitful. However we are always interested in the possibility of smart collaboration between studios at the operational level."

Sony was being urged at the time by billionaire Daniel Loeb to spin off its entertainment business. Loeb told Nicole Seligman, president of Sony Corp America, that Lionsgate wanted to meet. Lions Gate executives wanted "to toss around ideas about a possible merger or acquisition," he wrote

Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton responded later that day that it would be "very disruptive" if the "lionsgate stuff gets out".

Sony and Lions Gate and Daniel Loeb all declined media requests for comment.