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Are the Maple Leafs getting sold to U.S. owners?


Earlier today the Toronto Star published a report that said Providence Equity Partners, a U.S. investment company, was interested in buying a large stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), the parent company of the Maple Leafs (NHL), Marlies (AHL), Raptors (NBA), Toronto FC (MLS), the Air Canada Centre and…a bunch of other stuff.

Around 80 percent of MLSE is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, which announced it was shopping its stake almost a year ago.

Not so fast on the Star’s report, however, says a rival Toronto newspaper. The Globe and Mail cites sources that say a sale to Providence is unlikely.

If I were a betting man, I’d go with the Globe on this one. A U.S. investment company purchasing a stake in one of Canada’s cultural institutions (sad, but true) would cause an uproar. It might not reach Liverpool FC levels…


…because Tom Hicks and George Gillett did more than just own Liverpool – they totally screwed it up.

Still, a foreign owner isn’t ideal.

Besides, it doesn’t make any sense given the synergies a Canadian company could achieve by acquiring MLSE.

Yep, I just dropped a synergies on you. PHT is so corporate.

/writes memo