The Madison Square Garden Co. (NASDAQ:MSG) saw its shares soar more than 10 percent Tuesday morning after the board of directors unanimously approved a plan to explore a possible spinoff. The plan would separate the company’s entertainment businesses from its sports and media operations, following the steps of several companies that have orchestrated splits in recent years.
Representatives from Madison Square Garden did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
MSG said its entertainment business would host live events and concerts while its sports and media businesses would include the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, along with its regional sports TV networks.
A split can be advantageous for a company when it believes investors aren't appropriately valuing its constituent parts.
“The first company would capitalize on significant opportunities to grow rapidly within the changing entertainment landscape,” Tad Smith, president and chief executive office of the Madison Square Garden Co., said in a press release. “The second would enjoy steady growth and high cash flow that we expect will result in capital returns to shareholders."
The company did not announce a timetable for the spinoff, which will be subject to regulatory conditions and approvals. MSG's board of directors also authorized a buyback of up to $500 million of stock.
The Madison Square Garden Co. is the latest major company to break itself apart, following in the steps of tech companies such as eBay Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Symantec Corporation. EBay announced in September that it plans to separate its PayPal unit into an independent publicly traded company in 2015, and Hewlett-Packard said in October it will split its personal computer and printers businesses into one entity, and its enterprise tech arm into another. Symantec, known for its Norton antivirus software, announced earlier this month it will split into two publicly traded companies -- one focused on security and the other on information management.
Following the announcement, Madison Square Garden Co. shares surged more than 10 percent on Tuesday to $73.20 in morning trading.