MSG Explores Spin-Off

Madison Square Garden Co., said its board of directors has unanimously approved exploring a spin-off that would separate its iconic live entertainment venues like the Madison Square Garden Arena, The Beacon Theater and The Forum in Los Angeles, from its professional sports teams like the New York Knicks and New York Rangers and media properties MSG Networks.

The move would come about four years after MSG agreed to split itself off from Cablevision Systems in a deal that at the time was made to simplify the company structure. In a statement late Monday, MSG said it had been considering the latest spin off since July and that if completed, it would be intended to “benefit both new companies by allowing each of them to have a balance sheet, capital structure and capital return policy most appropriate for its business.  

MSG said its board has authorized the repurchase of up to $500 million of its Class A Common stock and announced director nominees for this year’s annual board meeting, including two new independent directors – former Triarc Cos. Chairman and CEO Nelson Peltz and Thomas H. Lee Partners co-president Scott Sperling, who will replace Alan Schwartz and former New York State Economic Development director Vincent Tese who have been nominated by the board for election as dirstors by the  company’s Class B shareholders. Former Time Warner Inc. chairman and CEO Richard Parsons was reappointed as a director on Sept. 29 and has been nominated for election by the holders of MSG’s Class A common stock.