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Breaking: Rogers/Bell to join up and purchase MLSE

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(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Late breaking news tonight that Canadian telecommunication giants Rogers Communications (who already own the Blue Jays and the Rogers Centre) and Bell Canada are extremely close to a deal that would see the two buy a majority (and thus controlling) share in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. The deal, which is reportedly for $1.4 billion dollars, would buy out the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan's 79.53% share in the company, which Rogers and Bell would then split.

From the Financial Post:

A source with knowledge of events said that Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. have an agreement in principle that would split the majority 79.53% stake in MLSE currently owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan.

Larry Tanenbaum, the Toronto-based construction magnate who owns the remaining 20.47% of MLSE, would remain chairman as a condition of his support for the transaction contemplated by Rogers and Bell. As part of a shareholders’ rights agreement, Mr. Tanenbaum has first right of refusal on any attempted sale, and would have to approve any changes to the partners’ accord, including dividing the much-coveted broadcast and Internet assets.

SUN: http://www.torontosun.com/2011/12/08/sale-of-mlse-to-rogers-bell-is-close

G&M: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/rogers-bce-on-verge-of-deal-for-mlse/article2265448/