MSG, TAO Group Team Up

Madison Square Garden Co. has shelled out $181 to acquire 62.5 percent common equity interest in the TAO Group.

The TAO Group operates 19 dining and nightlife venues in NYC, Las Vegas and Sydney, Australia, touting four of the 11 highest-grossing eateries in the U.S. A few of these restaurant brands are Tao Asian Bistro, Beauty & Essex, and Lavo Italian.

The current management team for TAO Group, including founders Marc Packer, Rich Wolf, Noah Tepperberg, and Jason Strauss, will retain 37.5 percent interest in the TAO Group and will keep running its operations.

“Over the last 16 years, we’ve seen tremendous growth as we’ve successfully created some of the most enduring brands in the hospitality industry,” Wolf said. “Our partnership with MSG enables us to continue down this path as we advance our plans to build a global hospitality platform, now backed by an organization with an unparalleled position as one of the world’s leading live entertainment companies.”

The deal stipulates that the parent company, Tao Holdings, must purchase $1 million in services or inventory from MSG, and that figure will increase annually, Deadline Hollywood reported. Tao Holdings reportedly must also pay a $5 million management fee each year.

“Tao Group is creating the most innovative premium experiences in the entertainment dining and hospitality industry – no one does it better,” said MSG Executive Chairman James L. Dolan said in a statement. “We now have a tremendous opportunity to utilize that expertise across our live offerings, while leveraging each other’s strengths to drive value and growth for both businesses.”