Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Knicks to be Sold?

From the department of speculative wish fulfilment, I'm going to make the backhanded case that a Knicks sale could be pending. As a member of the Bounce that works in some fashion in the financial news media, here's the barely publishable line of reasoning:

The Dolans, the family that controls Cablevision and our Knicks, are trying to take Cablevision private. Essentially, they want to buy up all the stock from shareholders in the public. The Dolans are currently haggling with shareholders about the fair market value of each outstanding share. Cablevision's stock performance is somewhat mixed; yesterday, amidst reports that the Dolans had offered $30 per share to shareholders, the stock sunk. Today, after shareholders rejected the Dolans' offer, it's up. Assuming Cablevision does go private, what's to stop these gentlemen from selling the company and the Knicks along with it? Look at this from today's Wall Street Journal:

"The Dolans have said they have no interest in selling the company. But the family is known for surprises, as well as for its combative nature. Cablevision also is one of many companies under federal investigation for allegedly issuing backdated options to executives. "

So, there we have it! The family IS known for suprises! Like letting Isiah buy out contracts, basically paying players not to play for the Knicks, rather than using their expiring contracts as tradeable assets? Like giving their GM a 1-year "measurable progress" ultimatum only AFTER he'd performed poorly enough rank up there with the worst NBA GMs in the last 25 years? Those Dolans! They're always doing wacky things.

Yesterday, the Journal speculated that Time Warner might be interested in buying Cablevision to beef up its New York region cable services. Why would Dolan try to take Cablevision private unless he thought the market was undervaluing it and he wanted to sell it for a profit? They control 70 percent of the company's stock. You have to wonder whether or not they're covering their asses here against stock scandals or are trying to take advantage of a booming private equity market. Or maybe James Dolan is so exhausted by being the Knicks steadfast, diligent owner that he just wants to retire. I hear Arizona is nice this time of year, Jim. I hear it's a dry heat.


g-fo said...

Looks like the sticking point is whether the Dolans can actually take the company private, which is being resisted so far. But you know my position: Sell the Knicks!!!

Hog Magic said...

Instead of selling the Knicks, the Dolans should buy the 76ers and merge them into the Knicks. I would project a team made up of the best 12-man team from those 2 franchises to win about 36 games in the Atlantic Division, while going about 6-40 outside the division.

Big Hog Rollin' said...

I think that the Knicks should trade David Lee to the Celtics for Seabass Telfair, then trade Channing Frye for Marcus Robinson. That way they could play all point guards with attitude problems or criminal records. They shouldn't get Jason Kidd for this though, since the only thing he did wrong was to father a mutant.

The Bounce said...

Thank you, Big Hog and Hog Magic, are you related?

Swimming in Hoggy Goodness said...

Any time you see hog, just assume it's me. Actually, I think The Bounce sees hog a little more often than is appropriate to talk about here.