On December 9, 2011, Rogers Communications Inc. (Rogers) announced that along with Bell Canada, it is jointly acquiring a net 75 percent stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Rogers' net cash commitment, following a planned leveraged recapitalization of MLSE, will total approximately C$533 million, representing a 37.5 percent equity interest in MLSE, and will be funded with cash on hand at closing. In a concurrent transaction, KSI Investments, owned by Larry Tanenbaum, will increase its current 20 percent ownership interest in MLSE to 25 percent.
Once the transaction closes, MLSE will be jointly owned by KSI Investments (25%), Bell and BCE Master Trust Fund (37.5%), and Rogers Communications (37.5%). Tanenbaum will continue to serve as Chair of MLSE and as a Governor of the NHL, NBA and Major League Soccer. Rogers and Bell have negotiated long-term sports broadcasting rights for MLSE content, at fair market value, for their respective television, wireless, digital and radio assets.
The transaction is expected to close in mid-2012 and is subject to regulatory and league approvals.
BCE Inc. provides wireline voice and wireless communications services, Internet access, data services and video services to residential, business and wholesale customers. Bell Canada is a local exchange carrier in Ontario and Quebec.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment owns and operates the Toronto Raptors basketball team and the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, as well as Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, where both teams play.
Rogers Communications Inc. is a diversified holding company operating in three segments: wireless, cable and media.
Further information can be found on Canada Newswire’s website.