Cable Operators

MSG Spin-off Will Slide Into Q1

12/14/2009 5:55 PM Eastern

Cablevision Systems Corp., which had been expected to completed the spin-off of its Madison Square Garden business unit by year-end, is pushing the transaction into the new year.

Cablevision today said the spinoff of MSG operation is now expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2010.

The MSG business comprises an array of assets: venues like Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall; sports teams, including the New York Knicks and Rangers; regional sports networks MSG, MSG Plus and national music service Fuse; and a live entertainment portfolio with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, featuring the world-famous Radio City Rockettes.
It is anticipated that the spin-off will come in the form of a tax-free pro rata distribution to all shareholders of Cablevision, with holders of Class A common stock receiving Class A shares in Madison Square Garden and holders of Class B common stock receiving Class B shares in Madison Square Garden. Both Cablevision and the new MSG would be controlled by the Dolan family through their ownership of Class B shares.

The company also said Monday that MSG has obtained commitments from a group of banks for a new five-year, $375 million senior secured revolving credit facility, earmarked for working capital, ongoing capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes.