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Forbes: MLSE worth $2.25B

CBJ – May 13 – American financial magazine Forbes believes the total value of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE) exceeds $2.25 billion, according to its latest projections.

Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which earlier in the week made headlines for its pursuit of TD Capital Group’s 13.5 per cent stake in MLSE, with Kilmer Sports’ Larry Tanenbaum being the third and final MLSE shareholder, is believed to be testing the market, hoping to cash in on its 66 per cent stake in MLSE ownership. The believed asking price of the stake is $1.3 billion.

With the potential of TD’s stake in its back pocket, it eases the transition of an ownership sale, though Tanenbaum holds the right of first refusal on any sale.

Reports continue to press Canadian communications conglomerates Bell Canada and Rogers Communications, owner of baseball’s Toronto Blue Jays, as the most interested in OTPP’s stake.

“Last year a number of people whispered interesting numbers in our ear and so we decided to put a process in place,” OTPP President and CEO Jim Leech said in a recent statement. “So we’ll see if those numbers turn into reality and if they don’t it is business as usual. It’s a great asset.”

MLSE owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, MLS’s Toronto FC, the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, as well as the Air Canada Centre, BMO Field, three sports television channels, and significant property and condominium development in the Toronto market.

The leading subsidiary of MLSE, Forbes last year valued the Maple Leafs at north of $505 million, a figure which MLSE officials have vehemently refuted in the past.

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