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Appeals court sides with Molson on NHL deal

STEFANIA MORETTI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:45 PM ET

An Ontario Court of Appeal judge has sided with Molson Coors Canada, striking down an earlier ruling that blocked the brewer's new sponsorship agreement with the National Hockey League after Labatt Breweries of Canada complained of foul play.

"Molson Coors Canada feels vindicated by the Ontario Court of Appeal's ruling today to reinstate our NHL sponsorship and are thrilled to be able to pursue our aspiration of delighting fans of the NHL this season and beyond," said Molson Coors Canada president and CEO Dave Perkins.

Last month, an Ontario Supreme Court judge called for an injunction to block Molson Coors Canada's estimated $375-million sponsorship deal with the NHL, one of the largest in league history.

In February, Labatt claimed Molson's seven-year sponsorship deal with the NHL was not made in good faith since Labatt had been ironing out the details to renew its long-standing agreement with the league to 2014.

The NHL, founded in 1917, is the second oldest of the four major professional team-sports leagues in North America, with 30 member clubs and millions of devoted fans.

Together, Labatt and its parent company Anheuser-Busch sponsor 22 of the 24 U.S. NHL teams.


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