Forget the story about an American investment group buying the Maple Leafs and having Wayne Gretzky join them. Forget about any group buying the Maple Leafs (and the other pieces of Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment).
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which owns MLSE (includes the Leafs, AHL Marlines, MLS' Toronto FC and NBA's Raptors), has no plans of selling their majority stake in the company. Here is what was posted on the MLSE website on Friday.
It was confirmed this morning that Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Teachers’) has decided to maintain its ownership stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE). From the onset, we knew a change in ownership was not a foregone conclusion. Teachers’ said then they were exploring the possibility of a sale in response to unsolicited expressions of interest they had received.
Teachers’, along with Kilmer Sports, are great owners. They have always provided our teams with the resources needed to compete on the ice, on the court and on the pitch. MLSE has been operating ‘business as usual’ throughout this process and will continue to do so.
That's that. The Teachers were only being prudent and listening to the inquiries, but that's a pretty good investment they have and parting with it was going to require a really good deal, more than the company is worth. I get the impression that a lot of Leafs fans would prefer to have an owner that has a face, instead of a group, I'm not sure what difference it makes. That's why there is a president and GM on the team.
It just means that Gretzky nor an American group will be owning the Leafs any time soon. Part of me says that's a shame just from an entertainment standpoint.