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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Times reported that billionaire Philip Anschutz hopes to sell his massive sports and entertainment subsidiary AEG.
Given speculation over what it will do with its cash and its living room and other media-related aspirations,
Apple(AAPL - Get Report) needs to be part of the conversation.
Given space and time concerns, it's not sensible to list everything AEG owns, operates or otherwise has its hands in, but the list,
via AEG's corporate Website, packs something more than an incredible punch.
Among AEG's top holdings and interests -- the Los Angeles Kings
NHL hockey club; Staples Center, the home of the Kings and the
NBA's Lakers and Clippers; the LA Live entertainment complex in downtown LA; the O2 arena and entertainment complex in London and the nation's second-largest concert promotion machine behind
Live Nation Entertainment(LYV - Get Report). AEG also owns a 30% stake in the Lakers as well as the professional soccer team David Beckham plays for -- the LA Galaxy -- and the Home Depot Center, which is where the team plays.
Thus far, I have only seen private equity firms and a couple of billionaire Angelenos come up as potential suitors. Anschutz wants to the sell the company in whole, not in parts. And he'll apparently actively seek buyers, not just field offers.
The price tag -- in the billions. I would speculate no less than $2 billion.
WIth that in mind, why haven't publicly traded companies come up as buyers?
Some seemingly perfect fits are just too small or have obvious conflicts of interest.
Madison Square Garden(MSG) is both too small and, because it already owns the New York Rangers and New York Knicks, a deal could never fly. Similar roadblocks exist for
Comcast(CMCSA) (owns the Philadelphia Flyers) and
Disney(DIS) (I'm not sure it could accept or ameliorate the conflict of interest presented vis-a-vis
ESPN, but you never know).
As old guard media companies go,
Time Warner(TWX) and
Viacom(VIA.B) both make sense. With more than $2 billion in cash, Time Warner appears better positioned to put an offer together, but Viacom likely could as well.