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MSG Sports Franchises Could Be Spun Off

New York Knicks

Madison Square Garden is planning to spin off its sports franchises, including the New York Knicks and New York Rangers, with the transaction expected to close in 2019. 

On Thursday, MSG announced that it had filed a confidential initial Form 10 Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a step toward a possible spin-off of its sports business. This would effectively separate the sports and entertainment businesses, with the entertainment company slated to have an approximately one-third interest in the spun-off sports venture while controlling several venues, booking, productions such as the Radio City Rockettes, and more.

MSG is now proceeding with a possible spin-off and says there are no plans to sell the Knicks or the Rangers, but that it is exploring a sale of the WNBA’s New York Liberty. More from the New York Post:

The split will give its businesses greater “strategic flexibility to pursue their own distinctive business plan,” MSG said in a Thursday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

MSG first revealed the plan in June, provoking speculation that the company could explore the sale of some of its teams. At the time, MSG said it had no plans on selling the Knicks or Rangers. The company reiterated that Thursday.

MSG, meanwhile, reiterated Thursday it is exploring a sale for its WNBA team, the New York Liberty, a plan it announced last November.

The split will “enable investors to more clearly evaluate each company’s assets and future potential, while providing both companies with increased strategic flexibility,” MSG said in the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Aside from the aforementioned clubs, the new spun-off sports venture would include Knicks Gaming, a majority interest in Counter Logic Gaming, and a professional sports team training center in Greenburgh, NY. The transaction is currently slated to close in the first half of 2019.

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