Cablevision Knicks Bid For Garden Teams

Cablevision has rejected a $700 million offer from an investment firm to purchase two of its New York sports teams – the Knicks and Rangers. There was an additional bid for the Cablevision-owned Madison Square Garden as well, but a price was not specified.

An investment group led by financier Russell Glass, who used to be a top executive at billionaire Carl Icahn’s investment firm, sent a letter to Cablevision dated October 18th offering to purchase the teams and the venue, a Cablevision spokesman said.

The Dolan family, which controls the company, had an offer on the table to buy out Cablevision’s public shareholders when the letter arrived. Six days later, the Dolans pulled their offer to take Cablevision private, which would have cost the family $6.3 billion.

A company spokesman played down the bid, saying it didn’t appear to be credible and that Cablevision has no plans to sell the Knicks and Rangers. He declined further comment, including whether Cablevision was still talking with the investment group.

The group had obtained a letter of interest from General Electric’s GE Commercial Finance unit to provide debt financing for the deal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Glass, who was president of Icahn Associates from 1998 to 2002, has also worked as an adviser for the Spanos family, which owns the NFL’s San Diego Chargers, the paper said.