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Teachers 'exploring' majority sale of MLSE?

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  • Apollo
    replied
    More On The Teachers

    One scene defines the legacy of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan as owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors.

    It was at a news conference on Feb. 11, 2003, to announce that the bean counters in charge of the pensions of the province’s teachers had bought out Steve Stavro to become the majority owner of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. A host of reporters wanted to know if this meant, in the pre-salary-cap days of the NHL, that Teachers’ was willing to spend the kind of money necessary to make the Maple Leafs a Stanley Cup champion.

    ichard Peddie, MLSE’s president, suggested the best person to answer that question was Robert Bertram, the highest-ranking Teachers’ executive on the MLSE board. Bertram did not advance to the podium and the press conference quickly ended. He bolted from the room, practically running down the hall to escape a mob of interrogators.

    And so it went with the group’s ownership of Toronto’s professional hockey, basketball and soccer teams. The Teachers’ executives were a faceless group quite happy to milk the MLSE cash cow but felt no responsibility to answer to anyone, least of all the paying customers, for the repeated failures of its teams. That was the job of the hired help, like Peddie, part of whose job description became taking regular abuse from a disaffected fan base.
    It is safe to say hardly any of the Leafs’ or Raptors’ fans will be sad to see the last of Teachers’, if indeed it gets the price it wants for its shares and decide to sell. Among the employees at the top of the MLSE totem pole, emotions may be mixed.
    The big question, though, is who will take over? The most likely answer is Tanenbaum, who will consider his options in the months this thing will take to play out. Contrary to some fans’ wishful thinking over the weekend, it will not be BlackBerry billionaire Jim Balsillie, whose attempts to put an NHL team in Hamilton made him toxic to the league’s governors, who get to approve any new owner.

    Those close to Tanenbaum say he has not made a decision because he wants to study the alternatives before deciding what is best. Certainly, he would like to become the majority owner since his strategic buying of MLSE shares that went on the market were aimed at putting him in position to have the right of first refusal on enough shares to give him control.

    But buying that control is an expensive proposition – those in the know say Teachers’ wants $1.5-billion for its 66 per cent of MLSE. Tanenbaum can try to find his own partners to raise the money, go to a lending institution or form a partnership with the media conglomerates expected to be the hottest bidders – Rogers Communications, BCE or Shaw Communications.
    No matter what happens, change is going to come. Along with the three Teachers’ directors, Peddie is also on his way out via retirement at the end of this year, which removes four directors from the seven-person MLSE board.

    By the dawn of 2012, MLSE will have a new president, three new directors and maybe even a new chairman depending on Tanenbaum’s decision.
    Source: TheGlobeAndMail

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  • slaw
    replied
    joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    Still ALOT of money for a couple of crappy teams.
    Sorry, poorly worded post on my part. Teachers only has 66% of MLSE, so I meant that you basically had to add another $750mm to get to 100%, which seemed crazy high to me (I realize there is a premium but still...).

    And hey, you don't just get the Raps and Leafs - you get TFC! And the Marlies! (You also get all of that sweet, sweet, real estate).

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  • Joey
    replied
    slaw wrote: View Post
    $1.5 billion seems like a stretch. I can't see many suitors at that price. What is the scope of the real estate holdings of MLSE? Let's say the Leafs are valued at ~$400mm and the Raptors somewhere around ~$200, with the ACC around the ~$200mm mark. That means the remainder of MLSE's holdings are worth ~$1.3 billion? Wow. If that's the case, maybe there is some possibility that someone really just wants the 'other' assets and is willing to spin-out the sports teams and the ACC.
    Not sure I get your math..? Sorry.
    $400M + $200M + $200M = $800M
    $1.5B - $800M = $700M (not $1.3B)

    But anyway, Golden State just Sold for $450M. For a team that historically is much more profitable, I can't imagine them asking any less than $350M for the Raps by themselves.
    The Leafs are EASILY worth $600M. Forbes had them at $505M last year, and whoever buys them KNOWS that the Maple Leaf fan base spends money, NO MATTER WHAT. Leafs will make ANYONE money.
    Plus the buyer gets ACC and Toronto FC.

    Not a huuge stretch, I wouldn't say.

    Still ALOT of money for a couple of crappy teams.

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  • slaw
    replied
    $1.5 billion seems like a stretch. I can't see many suitors at that price. What is the scope of the real estate holdings of MLSE? Let's say the Leafs are valued at ~$400mm and the Raptors somewhere around ~$200, with the ACC around the ~$200mm mark. That means the remainder of MLSE's holdings are worth ~$1.3 billion? Wow. If that's the case, maybe there is some possibility that someone really just wants the 'other' assets and is willing to spin-out the sports teams and the ACC.

    Leave a comment:


  • Joey
    replied
    Nope. Crazily enough, he was just SO persistent on wanting a team, and made a few questionable decisions in trying to land that team, that the NHL decided he was a bit too 'sleezy' in his tactics and said NO WAY. If I remember it correctly.

    Leave a comment:


  • nubreed000
    replied
    Did Balsillie sleep with every NHL owners wife or something? lol

    Leave a comment:


  • mcHAPPY
    replied
    nubreed000 wrote: View Post
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...siness+News%29



    Let's hope they don't change their mind. I like the idea of Balsillie taking over, but according to the article it would cost him around $1.5 billion (or more, seeing as this will end up being a bidding war) for the controlling stake.
    It would be interesting to see how much money he could come up with. PHX would have cost him a couple of hundred million, plus taking their debt, relocation costs, refurbishing Copps Coliseum, and a host of other expenses and that does not guarantee a profitable franchise. MLSE would no doubt cost more, a hell of a lot more, but he is guaranteed a profit.

    However, there is a strong possibility he has burned his bridges in the NHL which would be silly on the league's part, in my opinion.

    Billionaire Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive officer of Research in Motion, has chased NHL franchises in recent years but a source knowledgeable about league ownership issues said he would be shocked if the businessman would have any interest in the Maple Leafs now.

    “As far as buying the entire company or getting control (through the pension plan’s stake) is concerned, the chances are better of the sun setting in the east,” said the source.

    The NHL has also made it clear it would not approve of Balsillie regardless of how much he would offer for a franchise after rejecting him as a qualified owner during the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy proceedings last year.

    Balsillie was also close to buying the Pittsburgh Penguins a few years ago. He also made separate offers to buy the Coyotes and Nashville Predators with the intent of eventually moving one of them to Hamilton.
    http://www.thestar.com/business/comp...ht-to-buy-mlse
    The article is from December.

    Taneubaum has right of first purchase as well.

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  • nubreed000
    replied
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/repor...siness+News%29

    Rogers takes pass on Maple Leafs stake

    High-ranking sources at Rogers say the company has “very little” interest in putting in a bid, even though there were reports late last year that Rogers was in talks to buy MLSE. The sources said Rogers walked away from any notion of buying the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors and other MLSE assets last spring and never revisited the idea.
    ---
    But for Rogers, which spoke briefly about purchasing MLSE at around the time of the NHL playoffs last year, control over the company proved a stumbling block. Talks never got off the ground because the telecom giant expressed curiosity about a deal only if it could control all of the broadcast rights for the sports properties, and could control the company outright. Rogers executives expect to be invited to look at MLSE’s books when the formal auction process begins, but the company does not intend to change its mind.
    Let's hope they don't change their mind. I like the idea of Balsillie taking over, but according to the article it would cost him around $1.5 billion (or more, seeing as this will end up being a bidding war) for the controlling stake.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bendit
    replied
    Yes, I'd be quite surprised if he is not in the running. A problem I'd foresee is the NHL nixes his ownership of the Leafs because of the recent past. But I think they can kissandmakeup as businessmen....especially if he comes in as a majority owner and Tannenbaum still retains some ownership.

    I am concerned about the timing of all this visavis BC's contract extension. This is a crucial time with the draft and FAs or trades etc. Getting someone new to get up and running is not an easy thing to do by June. They should just extend him for a year and then let the new ownership decide...but he'd have to go along with that.

    Leave a comment:


  • mcHAPPY
    replied
    Bendit wrote: View Post
    Here is a chance for Balsillie to own a NHL club and get a NBA franchise as a "throw in"!!

    Seriously, I actually prefer a deep pocketed fan-owner of the team/s like a Cuban. I am sure RIM could probably leverage the content coming out of the buyout.
    Could you imagine? I would be ecstatic. After his failed attempts to move to Hamilton, this reminds me of how Vince McMahon answered the question of how did he defeat Ted Turner in the wrestling wars of the mid-late '90's. His answer: "To beat a billionaire you have to become a billionaire." For Balsillie to beat the Leafs, he had to buy the Leafs.

    I'm sure MLSE are going to be looking for a billion dollars or more (that is $1,000,000,000 plus - a lot of zero's). The difference between Balsillie trying to bring PHX to Hamilton is PHX was and is bleeding in the red whereas MLSE is a little gold mine.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bendit
    replied
    Here is a chance for Balsillie to own a NHL club and get a NBA franchise as a "throw in"!!

    Seriously, I actually prefer a deep pocketed fan-owner of the team/s like a Cuban. I am sure RIM could probably leverage the content coming out of the buyout.

    Leave a comment:


  • mcHAPPY
    replied
    smushmush wrote: View Post
    Unfortunately, the investors have to make this team a winning team if they want to continually line their pockets looking at the abysmal attendance record this year. Toronto Raptor fans are not Maple Leafs fans. No one loves losers. My 2 cents.
    I am not promoting a losing franchise, however, that statement is true in theory but not in practice. Look at the Clippers. Sterling makes money year in and year out and they are one of the worst franchises in pro sports over the last 25 years. Orlando is a team that despite its winning ways and high payroll does not make money.

    Leave a comment:


  • smushmush
    replied
    nubreed000 wrote: View Post
    Aaron Rodgers a potential buyer of MLSE? Man that Superbowl must've really paid out.

    Seriously though, as long as MLSE is owned by INVESTORS, then there will never be priority to produce a winning club, but rather a money making club. Investors don't give a shit whether your product is causing cancer as long as it's lining their pockets with big-time money.
    Unfortunately, the investors have to make this team a winning team if they want to continually line their pockets looking at the abysmal attendance record this year. Toronto Raptor fans are not Maple Leafs fans. No one loves losers. My 2 cents.

    Leave a comment:


  • nubreed000
    replied
    Apollo wrote: View Post
    There are probably other buyers out there besides Rodgers.
    Aaron Rodgers a potential buyer of MLSE? Man that Superbowl must've really paid out.

    Seriously though, as long as MLSE is owned by INVESTORS, then there will never be priority to produce a winning club, but rather a money making club. Investors don't give a shit whether your product is causing cancer as long as it's lining their pockets with big-time money.

    Leave a comment:


  • Apollo
    replied
    There are probably other buyers out there besides Rodgers.

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