Thursday, January 29, 2009

Selling a stake in the Sox

The RedSox' second largest ownership slice is selling. Get your bids ready, fellas.

The New York Times Co said on Wednesday it hired banking firm Goldman Sachs to help it sell its stake in the Boston Red Sox baseball team.

The 17.75 percent stake is in New England Sports Ventures (NESV), which owns the Red Sox, their home field of Fenway park and adjacent real estate.

It also owns half of the Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR team and an 80 percent stake in the NESN regional sports cable TV network.

The Times acquired its stake in NESV in February 2002. Sports bankers previously said the company could raise as much as $200 million from a sale of its stake.
It always struck me as odd that the NY Times was a part owner of the RedSox, but that's the way conglomerates go. There are some strange bedpartners out there.

The 17.75% stake (if sold for $200m) would effectively value the NESV at $1.127 billion. That's not the value of the RedSox, but its holding company. I have no idea how the Roush team is valued. When the Yanks were valued at $1.3 billion, I do not think that includes their ownership stake in the YES Network. Network valuations tend to trade at higher multiples. Back in April 2008, when the last Forbes team valuation rankings were published, the Sox were third (behind the Mets and Yanks) at $816m.

Maury at The Biz of Baseball has a bit on this, too. A site worth bookmarking if you're into the business side of all things baseball.

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