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Madison Square Garden in Pact for Los Angeles Forum

Madison Square Garden Inc., owner of the New York Knicks, acquired an option to purchase the Forum, former home of the Los Angeles Lakers, in Inglewood, California.

The transaction is subject to due diligence and other conditions, Alysia Lew, a spokeswoman for New York-based MSG, said today in an e-mail. She declined to discuss details.

MSG is paying $23 million for the venue and will invest another $50 million in renovations, Billboard magazine reported yesterday. The Forum would expand MSG’s concert business, which owns Radio City Music Hall and the Beacon Theatre in New York. MSG would also represent a challenge to closely held Anschutz Entertainment Group, which operates Staples Center and the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

The building is owned by the Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood. Marc T. Little, the church’s chief operating officer and general counsel, didn’t immediately return a message left at his office. The organization paid $22 million for the Forum in 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported earlier. Jan. 26

MSG fell 53 cents to $23.94 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The shares have gained 37 percent since the company split from Cablevision Systems Corp. on Feb. 10.

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