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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)
Getty Images

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.