The Toronto Maple Leafs are for sale

The Toronto Maple Leafs look to be for sale, but this is a huge deal. It will wind up being the largest sports deal in the history of Canadian Sports. We are not only talking about the most valuable NHL franchise, but a NBA team, a minor league hockey team, and a few arenas area all a part of this deal. The company that is actually for sale is Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment and it is 66 some percent owned by the Ontario Teachers pension plan.

The Teachers’ pension bought the Leafs in 1994 for 102 million dollars. Since then they have added the Toronto Raptors, and have built Air Canada Center to house both teams. Without a doubt the teacher’s pension plan will do very well in terms of return on investment. Of course the Maple Leafs haven’t done so great on the ice under their leadership, but this sale could turn all of that around.

Now Larry Tanenbaum currently owns around 20% of this company and looks to have the right of first refusal for a potential change in ownership. However, we got to think that Rogers Communication who own the Toronto Blue Jays and more importantly the Rogers Sports Net that would greatly benefit from having access to the broadcast rights to the other two Toronto teams. Of course the MLSE also owns TV networks for the Leafs and Raptors.

Since the Leafs are worth over 500 million dollars and the Raptors are worth 399 million dollars (they also happen to be the 10th most valuable NBA franchise) this deal could realistically be worth close to a billion dollars. Even though the Teachers’ only own 66% of the company their stakes in just the two franchises could be worth some 600 million dollars or so.

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