Madison Square Garden Entertainment and MSG Networks agree merger

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Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp and MSG Networks Inc have reached a definitive agreement for the former to acquire the latter in an all-stock, fixed exchange ratio transaction.

With the acquisition, MSG Entertainment anticipates it would capture more of the emerging revenue opportunity related to the potential expansion of legalized sports betting in its market. 

The combination of the companies’ media, digital and venue assets would create, it said, a powerful platform for potential sports gaming partners, which is expected to generate significant incremental revenue in the years ahead.

The merger is expected to be tax-free for both MSG Entertainment and MSG Networks and their stockholders. Upon the closing of the transaction, MSG Networks stockholders would receive 0.172 shares of MSG Entertainment Class A or Class B common stock for each share of MSG Networks Class A or Class B common stock they own. 

MSG Entertainment President Andrew Lustgarten said: “MSG Entertainment is actively executing a plan designed to grow the company beyond its established collection of assets into one that is pioneering the next generation of entertainment. 

“We have always believed in the value of live sports and look forward to welcoming MSG Networks back into the fold as part of a transaction that we are confident would enhance our financial flexibility and set the stage for continued growth and value creation.”

MSG Entertainment hopes that the transaction will create a leading entertainment and media company with a more diversified revenue base that would be well positioned to deliver innovative experiences across all of its assets. 

The combined company would, it claims, have a stronger liquidity position to support its live entertainment business, which following the shutdown of its venues due to the pandemic, is now on a path back to normal operations. 

In addition, the new company would have enhanced financial flexibility to fund current growth initiatives, including its planned state-of-the-art venue in Las Vegas, MSG Sphere at The Venetian, as well as future opportunities across both entertainment and media.

MSG Networks President and CEO Andrea Greenberg said: “We anticipate significant benefits from rejoining MSG Entertainment, including creating a combined company with greater diversification and resources. This would, in turn, help drive new innovative opportunities across both the entertainment and media businesses, ultimately creating significant value for our collective shareholders.”

The transaction, which is also subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to be completed during the third quarter of calendar 2021.