Report: BCE, Rogers likely bidders for MLSE

Brian Burke, President and GM of the Maple Leafs, gives his end of year speach at the Air Canada...

Brian Burke, President and GM of the Maple Leafs, gives his end of year speach at the Air Canada Centre on April 12, 2011. (QMI Agency/Michael Peake)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:55 PM ET

Either BCE Inc. or Rogers Communications Inc. may pay $2.25 billion for an ownership stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., according to a new report.

Forbes cited an unnamed source described as a Canadian sports banker familiar with the sale of MLSE by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan (OTPP). The report said both media giants are "very interested" in the programming value of the sports teams, which could spark a bidding war.

Spokespeople at BCE and Rogers could not be immediately reached for comment.

MLSE includes professional sports clubs the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors and the Toronto FC.

Earlier this week, OTPP stuck a deal to snap up TD Bank's 13.46% stake in the company.

The deal brings the pension plan's ownership stake to nearly 80% and was designed to streamline the sale process, which has been quietly underway since March.

The proposed deal leaves Larry Tanenbaum as MLSE's second-largest shareholder. He has the right to buy one-fifth of the TD's stake because of a preexisting condition. He also has the right of first refusal on any bids for OTPP's newly bolstered share.


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