Majority MLSE owners 'exploring' sale
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns among other properties the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA's Toronto Raptors and Toronto FC of MLS, could be up for sale.
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (OTPP) said in a statement Saturday that it "will explore the possibility of selling its 66 per cent majority share of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment."
Earlier Saturday, Montreal's La Presse reported that the OTPP have hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to find investors interested in buying their shares.
La Presse, citing an unnamed source, says the asking price is $1.3 billion for the OTPP's shares.
If completed, the sale would be the largest in Canadian sports history.
When contacted Saturday by CBC Hockey Night in Canada's Scott Morrison, MLSE president and CEO Richard Peddie offered no comment.
In December, reports surfaced that telecommunications giant Rogers Communications was making overtures to buy the OTPP's shares for $1.3 billion.
Along with the Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC, MLSE also owns the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League, television networks Leafs TV and Raptors TV, the Air Canada Centre, and Ricoh Coliseum.
As well as being a telephone, internet, and cable giant, Rogers already owns Canadian sports channel Sportsnet, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre.
Real estate magnate Larry Tanenbaum, who owns 20.5 per cent of MLSE, and TD Capital, which owns 13.5 per cent, will each have first refusal on any proposed sale of the OTPP's shares.
The OTPP now has the go-ahead from the NHL to open the franchise's books to potential buyers.