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MSG Buys 50 Percent Stake in Tribeca Enterprises

Tribeca Enterprises will sell a 50% stake to another New York City showbiz giant, the Madison Square Garden Company.

The deal, which values Tribeca at $45 million, comes on the heels of MSG Productions’ announcement Friday that Radio City’s new Rockettes show, “Heart and Lights,” was canceled less than a week before its opening. It will be delayed until at least 2015.

“Bob De Niro and I have built a brand that supports community, artists, filmmakers and storytellers, we are thrilled to be a member of MSG’s family of iconic entertainment brands,” Jane Rosenthal, Tribeca Enterprises CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. “Our partnership will allow us to grow the Festival and enhance the experience for our audience and provide more opportunities for the creative and filmmaking community nationally and internationally.”

Rosenthal co-founded the Tribeca Film Festival with De Niro and Craig Hatkoff in 2002. Since then, TFF has attracted more than 4.5 million attendees.

Tribeca intends to expand its festival-related programs by taking advantage of MSG’s properties throughout the nation, including New York’s Beacon Theater — the site of the Tribeca Festival’s opening night events in April. For the first time this year, Tribeca will sell tickets to the usually invitation-only fest. It will also benefit from MSG’s marketing and branding strategies.

Meanwhile, MSG will gain entry into the film festival business and Tribeca’s film content.

According to Tribeca spokeswoman Tammie Rosen, there are currently no plans to include Tribeca content on MSG’s broadcast properties, which include the regional sports TV channel MSG Plus and music channel Fuse.

Rosenthal will continue to run Tribeca Enterprises with its current president and COO, Jon Patricof. Rosen said there are no planned staff reductions. The company employs about 70 people.

MSG’s executive chairman James L. Dolan, who sits on the AMC Networks board and is chief executive of New York City-area cable provider Cablevision Systems, will join the Tribeca Enterprises board. His holdings include sports teams and entertainment venues such as Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers.

“This partnership with Tribeca Enterprises and the Tribeca Film Festival – one of the top film festivals in the world – strengthens MSG’s position in the entertainment industry and is another example of our continued focus on pursuing attractive growth opportunities that make strategic sense for the company,” Tad Smith, MSG president and CEO, said in a statement.

The New York Times originally reported this story.

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