NEW YORK (CNNfn) -- ITT Corp. announced late Thursday it agreed to sell its 50-percent interest in New York's Madison Square Garden to its partner Cablevision Systems Corp. for $650 million.
ITT is currently rebuffing a hostile $6.5 billion takeover bid from Hilton Hotels Corp.
ITT said the deal would mean its initial investment in the arena, $360 million, grew by 81 percent gain over a two-year period.
Madison Square Garden's sports and entertainment properties include the New York Knicks basketball and Rangers hockey professional sports teams and the MSG television network.
Under the agreement, Cablevision will pay ITT $500 million in cash for a 38.5 percent interest in MSG. ITT can choose to keep the remaining 11.5 percent interest, or it can make Cablevision buy it in two chunks over the next two years.
In terms of the deal, if Cablevision sells any part of MSG within one year of the deal, ITT will be entitled to part of the profit.
ITT, which operates the Sheraton hotel chain and Caesars casinos, said the deal values the arena and associated properties at $1.53 billion.
The sale of the Madison Square Garden by ITT may be seen as the latest step in the company's defense against Hilton's takeover bid. This divestiture could boost ITT's stock price, thus making it too expensive for Hilton's tastes.