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Blog Entry

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: November 16, 2011 1:26 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The Toronto Maple Leafs already have an American GM and their best player hails from the States, so why not make it the ownership, too?

A report from the Canadian Press has it that the Rhode Island-based investment firm Providence Equity Partners is interested in buying the 80 percent stake owned in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. The OTPP has said it is looking to sell its share in MLSE.

There isn't a whole lot of information out about the money, or if a bid has even been made, but the asking price for that 80 percent has been reported at $1.5 billion. Compare that to the $170 million True North spent to buy the Thrashers and you can see Toronto is sort of a good hockey market ... in case you didn't already know that. In other news you might now know, the Earth orbits the sun.

Of course, the $1.5 billion goes toward more than just the Maple Leafs. The MLSE also owns and operates the Leafs' AHL partner the Toronto Marlies, the NBA's Raptors and Major League Soccer's Toronto FC as well as the Air Canada Centre. But unlike any other market where both the NBA and NHL are in town, the hockey team is the big acquisition in MLSE.

It's worth nothing that Rogers Communications has also shown interest in buying the 80 percent stake.

But don't panic yet, Toronto. A conflicting report from the Globe and Mail says not to put too much stock into the Providence talk, saying it is unlikely to happen.

In the wake of a published report that Providence Equity Partners LLC, based in Providence, R.I., took a look at buying the 80-per-cent share of MLSE held by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, one investment banker who regularly handles deals with NHL teams said “it makes no sense to me” that Providence would actually make an offer.

The irony just can't escape me of the hockey capital not only of Canada but probably the world is so tied with the USA, in particular if Providence buys MLSE. Canada's top team in Canada's sport in which they are so proud of their excellence and is a source of patriotism having an American feel is just funny. GM Brian Burke already has the image of trying to Americanize the Leafs. But as long as they are all like Phil Kessel, I suppose nobody would care much.

In the end, I'm inclined to go with the Globe and Mail report on the matter. It would just be too odd for the Leafs to be in American control, among many other reasons.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2011 11:03 am
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

Lumpoco....LMAO Dude!!! When was the last time any team in Washington was considered to be the best of the best? If there is such a thing in Washington, atleast have the know-how to recognize which team it is. You think the Nats, the Wiz or the Skins are it? Try the Capitols. Seems like they have been the ONLY one's to have any kind of success. You can thank Jeffrey Laurie for the Nats arriving after he ran them into the ground in Montreal. The Wizards...well, is Michael Jordan still playing there? The Skins huh? Who's the QB again. Stop talking out your rear and get your own facts worked out before shooting off baseless facts. No one, and I mean no one on any sport station from ESPN to VS. to TSN to spanish speaking sports stations have ever reffered to Washington as America's sports capitol. With all that futility going on, you sound like Cleveland. By the sounds of it, you think that Vancouver should be "Canada's team". So by the sounds of it, you would be a what have you done for me lately kind of guy. Dumping on Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal. All of which have more Stanley cups than Vancouver. Which is how many again? Ahh yes. 0! How you managed to get a score of over 100 on useless information makes me belive that I can type the same word over and over and over again and still score something better.



Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2011 10:49 am
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

Fear not canadian hockey fan's. Neither the Leafs or the Habs are Canada's team. Unlike the the Dallas Cowboys who seem to think it's still 1975 in terms of "America's Team" in the NFL. The day's of "Canada's team" or "America's Team" are long gone. With everyone's ability to watch any team whenever they want in today's world it's unrealistic to say that one particular team is labelled as such. The Winnipeg Jets are as much Canada's team as the rest of them. Why you ask? Mainly because there are as many people who hate the Leafs as they do the Habs. Calgary hates Edmonton as much as much as Toronto hates Ottawa. You get the idea right? There is no allegiance's here. Love your team and hate the rest. It may be our game here in Canada, but we hate the team that's to the right.
Montreal fans like to bash Toronto for 40 years of futility. Meanwhile Leafs fans like to complain that they can't understand what the heck the Habs fans are saying. I never understood why an English Habs supporter would watch the game in French while it's on in English. Would you expect anything less than?



Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 5:53 pm
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

There are two kinds of hockey fans in Canada - those who are Leafs fans and those who say they aren't Leafs fans. Canada's team? No brainer.




Since: Aug 9, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:02 pm
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

If you are going by just what the team makes then The Maples Leafs should be NHL's team. Since I am Canadian my motto is Anybody but the Leafs, they have sucked for over 40 years, with that being said they ARE NOT Canada's team. try making the playoffs for a couple years, make a run at the cup do something other than golf during the playoffs then maybe we can talk about them being an actual team that matters.




Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:11 pm
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

Oh good, I so missed all of the rampant Candian jingoism from when the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg.



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: November 17, 2011 10:27 am
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

Nothing to worry about with an equity group owning team, look how nicely one ran STL the last 3 years.   Now, after they've squeezed every dollar they could, they're ready to relinquish ownership.   I'm sure somebody draped in a maple leaf will save the day and swoop in to buy the majority share of the team.


ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 1:01 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Apr 4, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:43 pm
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

I beg to differ...This team is not "Canada's Leafs", it is "Toronto's Leafs"...You don't know what a can of worms that your headline will uncover...We, real Canadian hockey fans, call this Toronto (not Canada) team, "The Make Beliefs"...The last Stanley Cup (1967) team picture is in black and white...so, please, don't call this bunch "Canada's Leafs"...



Since: May 5, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:10 pm
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

"buying the 80 percent stake owned in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan"

wow...ontario's teachers' pension plan is about to get secured for a long time. maybe its time to go to ontario and become a teacher? nice move canada, eh?



Since: Oct 12, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:26 pm
 

U.S. investment group interested in buying Leafs

...thoughtful words from the "mistake On The Lake"  "Clevelands Clone".."The Birthplace of Winter" America's S**thole"


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com