Rejoice, fans of every hockey team but the Toronto Maple Leafs! Rogers and Bell, the telecommunications giants, have announced they are buying the controlling stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment from the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan for a whopping $1.32 billion.
MLSE owns just about everything sports-related in Toronto (except for the Blue Jays, which are already owned by Rogers, so... ), such as the Leafs, the Raptors, Toronto FC, the Air Canada Centre, and the Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies. The Teachers' Pension Plan bought 79.5 per cent of shares in the MLSE 17 years ago for $180 million, giving Ontario's public school teachers a tidy little payday. Rogers and Bell will each take 37.5 per cent of MLSE, while minority owner Larry Tanenbaum ups his ownership from 20 per cent to 25 per cent.
Perhaps coincidentally, the Maple Leafs haven't made it to the NHL's conference finals since being purchased by the pension group.