Madison Square Garden Corporation Acquires a Majority Stake In Tao Group

Nicole Ely | Vegas Seven

Tao Las Vegas partners Lou Abin, Rich Wolf, Marc Packer, Noah Tepperberg and Jason Strauss. | Photo by Elizabeth Buehring.

From Las Vegas to New York and even as far away as Sydney, Tao Group has positioned itself as a global hospitality conglomerate. The brand has popped up at the Electric Daisy Carnival, Miami’s Ultra, Sundance Film Festival and many a Super Bowl. And while many were focusing on the company’s imminent openings in Hollywood, the group was quietly working on a deal to sell the majority interest in their brand to Madison Square Garden Company. Per reports, the $181 million deal gives MSGC a 62.5 percent stake in Tao Group, and if you dig deeper, this deal makes a lot of sense.

MSGC is positioning itself as not only the premiere live entertainment operator in New York, but also recently acquired and renovated The Forum in Los Angeles. Could this mean that Tao will play a part in the VIP delivery arm of these venues and more in other markets?

In speaking with an investment team that recently acquired several of The Forum’s VIP boxes, we are told that Irving Azoff (a major music executive who is intimately involved with the day-to-day operations of MSGC) is aggressively trying to buy these boxes back. Perhaps Azoff, MSGC and Tao Group have a new plan in mind for those boxes.

While the exact role Tao will play in MSGC’s VIP operations has yet to be revealed, this could seriously elevate these venues’ image and influence even further. The success of the partnership between Miami hot spot LIV and Sun Life Stadium, and Hyde Lounge at both Staples Center in L.A. and T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas certainly shows that collaboration between entertainment venues and nightlife brands can prove fruitful.

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