James Dolan
MSG's James Dolan (JStone / Shutterstock)

MSG Updates Its Sports And Entertainment Spin-Off Plan

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NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess) — On Thursday, the Madison Square Garden Company announced that its board of directors has unanimously signed off on a revised plan for the spin-off of its sports and entertainment businesses.

According to MSG, the company is now seeking to spin its entertainment into a separately traded public company and as part of the revised plan, the newly-created entertainment company would not retain an equity stake in MSG’s sports business.

Previously, MSG had been weighing a plan to spin off two-thirds of its economic interest in its sports businesses to shareholders, with MSG holding the remaining stake in the sports venture.

“The spin-off would create two distinct companies for MSG shareholders, each with a defined business focus and clear investment characteristics. One company would be a leader in live entertainment that would take advantage of significant opportunities to grow rapidly within the changing entertainment landscape. The other entity would be a sports company with marquee assets that would enjoy steady growth and strong free cash flow,” MSG Executive Chairman and CEO James L. Dolan enthused in a press statement.

Post spin, the proposed sports company will include The New York Knicks NBA franchise and its development team, the Westchester Knicks and The New York Rangers NHL franchise and its development team, the Hartford Wolf Pack. The newly-formed sports company would also hold MSG’s e-sports operations including Knicks Gaming, the official NBA 2K esports franchise of the New York Knicks, and a controlling stake in the North American esports business Counter Logic Gaming.

The post-spin entertainment company would include MSG’s Sphere venues, as well as New York’s Madison Square Garden, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and Beacon Theatre; the Forum in Inglewood, CA; and The Chicago Theatre. The company will also include MSG’s booking operations, including bookings for the Knicks, Rangers and other sports events, and MSG’s productions, including the Radio City Rockettes and the Christmas Spectacular.

The entertainment entity will also include a majority stake in club and restaurant operator TAO Group, and the Boston Calling music festival and related events.

The proposed transaction is still expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2020, subject to certain conditions.

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