The Associated Press and ESPN are reporting that the New York Yankees cable network, Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network, is for sale and could be worth in excess of $3 billion, based on estimates by Fortune magazine.
Yankee Global Enterprises, the team’s parent company, and investment firms Goldman Sachs Group and Providence Equity Partners own the profitable network. YGE controls about 35 percent of the network, while the remainder is owned by Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity, which is headed by former New Jersey Nets owner Ray Chambers.
“We’re testing the waters with a limited universe of quality buyers,” Gerry Cardinale, a Goldman managing director, told Fortune. “We would consider selling only if we receive a full and fair price.” . . .
In an interview with AP, Goldman Sachs spokesman Peter Rose added, “We’ve owned the network for the past six years. All we’re doing is getting a current view from the marketplace on the network’s value. From Goldman Sachs’ perspective, we have made no decision to sell. If we got an offer that in our view reflected the premium value of the network, we would consider it.”
The Yankees currently plan to keep their stake and say they must approve any incoming partners to the network, and team President Randy Levine said the network is not for sale. “We’re testing the market for our financial partners, not for the Yankees’ stake. The whole network isn’t for sale,” he told the New York Times.
According to Fortune Goldman and Chambers want to sell YES, which the Yankees are not blocking, and the magazine reports there is speculation that the team could be next on the block.