The Madison Square Garden Co (MSG): JAT Capital Continues to Increase Activist Stake

John Thaler’s JAT Capital Management recently disclosed, with the SEC, another increase in its exposure to The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG). The fund declared ownership of 4.93 million shares of Class A Common Stock, up from the 4.28 million shares last revealed – and triple in comparison with 1.64 million shares held by the end of the second quarter of 2014. This stake accounts for approximately 7.75% of the company’s outstanding stock, and makes JAT Capital Management the largest hedge fund shareholder – amongst those that we track.

A few weeks ago, the fund already disclosed a marked increase in its bet on The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG), and expressed its intention to engage in discussions with the company’s Board of Directors and management, regarding the creation of long-term value for shareholders.

The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG)

Mr. Thaler said he considers the stock to be cheap, and plenty of value could still be unlocked. However, he also assured that he does not intend to acquire a controlling interest in the company, nor push for a merger.

Unlike JAT Capital Management, which just recently went activist, Christian Leone’s Luxor Capital Group, the second largest hedge fund shareholder of record, last disclosed a passive stake in The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG), with approximately 4.88 million shares. This position, worth more than $300 million, accounts for more than 7.6% of the company’s outstanding stock.

Other major institutional investors betting on The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG) are Mario Gabelli’s GAMCO Investors and John W. Rogers’ Ariel Investments. After increasing their stakes in the company, these funds own 2.95 million shares and 2 million shares, respectively.

The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG) is a $5.1 billion market cap integrated sports, entertainment and media business company. Its sporting division includes the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers (hockey club); its sport programming business, the MSG Network; and its entertainment segment, the Madison Square Garden Arena, the Radio City Music Hall, and the Beacon Theatre, amongst others.

Also recently, the company appointed a new CFO and Executive Vice President: Sean Creamer. Mr. Creamer had previously served as Arbitron Inc’s President, and joined The Madison Square Garden Co (NASDAQ:MSG)’s team in September 1. According to the company, the new CFO should help create value and explore new business opportunities.

Disclosure: Javier Hasse holds no positions in any stocks or funds mentioned.

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