'Your jobs are safe,' MLSE tells employees

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

SUNRISE, Fla. — The grand poohbahs at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. don’t want their employees fretting about the impending sale of the company.

As a result, a memo was sent out by the company’s brass this week assuring everyone in its workforce that there is no reason to worry about their individual employment futures if and when a transaction takes place.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan acknowledged last Saturday that it would “explore the possibility” of selling its 66% share of MLSEL, adding that it was considering an auction. To that end, the Teachers’ retained New York-based Morgan Stanley to help find potential suitors for MLSEL, which includes the NHL’s Maple Leafs, the AHL Marlies, the NBA Raptors, MLS Toronto FC, Leafs TV, Raptors TV and the Maple Leaf Square condo development that features Real Sports bar and eatery.

“It was just a chance to make sure the employees knew that they were valuable assets in whatever deal goes down,” a source said. “They needed to know that they are valuable resources in this whole process.”

Because the potential sale stands to be a complicated process, those close to the situation estimate it will take at least 90 days before any transaction likely will be completed.

Larry Tanenbaum, who controls 20.5% of the shares in MLSEL, has the right of first refusal if and when a potential buyer is poised to complete a transaction.

Those in the know continue to insist that Tanenbaum likely will attempt to increase his cut, although it is uncertain whether he will be able to put together enough financial resources to acquire majority control of the company.

“Don’t count Larry out of this,” a source said.


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