MSG signs JPMorgan to sell music network Fuse
Three weeks after announcing it would invest $25 million to build a bowling alley in Las Vegas, MSG confirmed it hired JPMorgan to help it sell music network Fuse.
The network, launched in 1994 by former MSG parent Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) and Canada's CHUM Limited, counts about 64 million subscribers. It was originally known as MuchMusic USA, and Cablevision changed it to Fuse in 2003, after it bought CHUM's 50 percent stake.
Fuse has long marketed itself as a network focused on running music videos, while rivals MTV and VH1 have filled much of their schedules with reality shows. The network could fetch $300 million to $400 million, Macquarie Group analyst Amy Yong told Bloomberg.
The New York Post broke news of the Fuse sale on Thursday, and MSG later issued a statement confirming the move. "We have been approached by certain parties expressing interest in Fuse and have retained JPMorgan to explore all strategic alternatives," MSG said in a statement sent to Bloomberg.
Cablevision spun off MSG Entertainment as a separate publicly traded company in 2010. Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan is the chairman of MSG, which owns the New York Knicks, the New York Rangers, Radio City Music Hall and regional sports network MSG.
Dolan has also sold some of Cablevision's non-core assets in recent months. In June, Cablevision sold movie theater chain Clearview Cinemas. And it closed a $1.6 billion deal to sell its Optimum West cable systems to Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR) in July.
MSG CEO Hank Ratner told analysts on an earnings call last month that the company was teaming up with Brooklyn Bowl to build an entertainment facility in Las Vegas which will feature bowling and a "high energy bar and restaurant."
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