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Hedge fund pushing James Dolan to sell more Knicks, Rangers stake to supercharge their value

Ryan Gaydos

The calls for New York Knicks and New York Rangers owner James Dolan to sell off some of its take in the two professional sports teams are getting louder.

Days after the buyout firm Silver Lake Partners reportedly approached Dolan’s Madison Square Garden (MSG) to take a bigger stake in the Knicks and Rangers, Bloomberg reported Wednesday Blue Harbour Group CEO Clifton S. Robbins has been pushing Dolan to sell a stake in the franchises to supercharge its value.

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Blue Harbour Group, a hedge fund, owns a 4 percent stake in Madison Square Garden. Robbins told Bloomberg that bringing in new investors into the teams could push their combined value to more than $7 billion. Forbes concluded the teams are worth more than $5.5 billion combined.

“We think Madison Square Garden is on a path to create and unlock significant shareholder value,” Robbins said. “We think the shares are worth about $400 a share today.”

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Dolan, the CEO and executive chairman of MSG, is set to complete a spinoff of his sports franchises in the first quarter of 2020. Dolan would continue to control the Knicks and Rangers under the spinoff.

The New York Post reported Monday that Silver Lake Partners was looking to increase its 10 percent stake in Madison Square Garden. The group was reportedly only focusing on MSG’s sports ventures.

MSG has said it would be open to selling off at least one-third stake in hopes to invest in its Las Vegas and London businesses.

A source told the New York Post that Silver Lake approached MSG with multiple plans to take a larger stake in their sports teams including a private sale once MSG spins off some of its assets.

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Silver Lake had no comment when asked by FOX Business, while an official with Madison Square Garden told FOX Business they do not comment on rumor and speculation.

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