- The New York Knicks owner James Dolan confirmed he received feelers from people to sell the Knicks for $US5 billion.
- Dolan said he doesn’t plan to sell the team, but he keeps an open mind if it would benefit shareholders.
- Forbes estimated the Knicks to be worth $US3.6 billion.
- After Dolan’s comments went public, MSG’s stock price rose more than 5%.
The New York Knicks have been mired in mediocrity for nearly two decades, and fans have long clamored for owner James Dolan to sell the team.
In a profile of Dolan from ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, Dolan says he doesn’t have any plans to sell the team, but that he wouldn’t rule it out. O’Connor said there is a belief that offers for the Knicks have come in around $US5 billion, which Dolan confirmed.
“No one has come through with a bona fide offer,” Dolan said. “You hear numbers all the time. … I think people have sent feelers out, but never any that were pursued. Yeah, [the feelers are] around that number [$US5 billion].”
Dolan said people should not put too much stock in those numbers.
“Those things, it’s like a stock price. It’s only important if you’re going to buy or sell.”
Dolan, who is the executive chairman of the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the Knicks, New York Rangers, and more. His family is the majority shareholders, and he said although they don’t have the desire to sell the team now, they must keep it in mind if would benefit the other shareholders.
“You have a responsibility as the guy who runs the place to deliver on that for them, that’s being open and transparent,” Dolan told O’Connor. “And so in that position, I could never say that I wouldn’t consider selling the Knicks. Now, my family is not in that position, and they are the majority shareholders. They hold the majority of the vote. … As a majority owner, I don’t want to sell, either. As the head of the public company, you can’t say you can’t sell, because then you’re telling your shareholders that your own personal feelings about your assets are more important than their money. And they won’t invest with you if you do that.”
Dolan confirmed in a later statement that he has no plans to sell the Knicks.
The values of NBA teams continue to climb. According to Forbes research, the Knicks are estimated to be worth $US3.6 billion. If Dolan sold the team for $US5 billion, it would be the largest purchase in NBA history by a significant stretch.
In the wake of Dolan’s comments, the MSG stock price has climbed, rising more than 5%.
Look at the MSG stock price following @Ian_OConnor interview with James Dolan.
I guess Dolan does know how to increase shareholder value, just hint you would consider selling the team, even though you probably won’t. pic.twitter.com/YEi8lmDfQt
— Knicks Film School (@KnickFilmSchool) December 17, 2018
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