There have been rumors of a potential sale of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors and others, for months now. But after an eight-month review of their majority stake in the company, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan has decided not to sell.
Following various unsolicited expressions of interest in MLSE, Teachers' and its advisors began a process in March of this year to review its ownership stake in the company. Teachers' has concluded this eight-month process with the decision to maintain its stake in MLSE, which has been and continues to be a very successful investment.
With the acquisition in September of TD Capital Group's 13.46% minority stake, Teachers' now owns 79.53% of MLSE.
It's easy to see why Teachers' is hanging on, and it's the same reason why so many other suitors were interested in the controlling portion of MLSE. The company is a big time money maker, and with the Maple Leafs in particular starting to play better hockey, and with the playoffs a legitimate possibility for the first time in years, the opportunity isn't going anywhere.
In addition to the Leafs and Raptors, MLSE also controls the Air Canada Centre, Major League Soccer's Toronto FC, the AHL's Toronto Marlies and several properties in the Greater Toronto Area.
For more on the Leafs, check with our blog Pension Plan Puppets, which fortunately won't be forced into a name change any time soon.