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Savor Manchester United's IPO

I am not a New York sports fan and took a position primarily due to other assets owned by the company, including among other things the Madison Square Garden Complex and associated air rights.

But you certainly can't ignore the value of the Knicks and Rangers in the equation. The Knicks, which were recently listed as the No. 2 most valuable NBA franchise by Forbes, are worth an estimated $900 million. The Rangers are listed as the NHL's second most valuable franchise, worth an estimated $507 million by Forbes.

Interestingly, Madison Square Garden has a total enterprise value of $2.6 billion, but the Knicks and Rangers alone are valued at more than $1.4 billion. I wonder what the Madison Square Garden property is worth? What is the company's media business worth? In all, MSG is a fairly compelling asset play.

It will be interesting to see how the Manchester United IPO plays out, given the history of publicly traded teams in our markets.

I, for one, am holding out for a Philadelphia Phillies IPO, which will likely never happen. It would certainly be a bit cheaper this year, given the way they are playing.

At the time of publication, Heller was long MSG.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Jonathan Heller, CFA, is president of KEJ Financial Advisors, his fee-only financial planning company. Jon spent 17 years at Bloomberg Financial Markets in various roles, from 1989 until 2005. He ran Bloomberg's Equity Fundamental Research Department from 1994 until 1998, when he assumed responsibility for Bloomberg's Equity Data Research Department. In 2001, he joined Bloomberg's Publishing group as senior markets editor and writer for Bloomberg Personal Finance Magazine, and an associate editor and contributor for Bloomberg Markets Magazine. In 2005, he joined SEI Investments as director of investment communications within SEI's Investment Management Unit.

Jon is also the founder of the Cheap Stocks Web site, a site dedicated to deep-value investing. He has an undergraduate degree from Grove City College and an MBA from Rider University, where he has also served on the adjunct faculty; he is also a CFA charter holder.
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