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MAPLE LEAF GARDENS SHUTS ITS GATES TO THE PUBLIC
Published August 7, 1996
Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd.'s final official shareholder meeting brought an end to Steve Stavro's five-year battle to get control of the company. During Tuesday's meeting, minority shareholders upset with Stavro's decision to take the company private tried to make their presence known. But due to Stavro's 95.5% (through MLG Ventures Ltd.) control, the outcome was never in doubt. The motion easily passed, and MLG will be a private entity once the company buys up the remaining 4.5% of shares at a cost of C$49.50/share. While Stavro did not speak at the meeting, MLG Director George Whyte said the plan will save on taxes which will in turn allow for improvements to the NHL club (Peter Fitzpatrick, FINANCIAL POST, 8/7). With the end of this long saga, TORONTO SUN's Al Strachan gets in a few parting shots at Stavro and the company. He notes a number of unanswered questions mostly having to do with how all of these public companies were able to hold secret negotiations without the best interest of Harold Ballard's heirs being represented. Now that the company is private, Strachan notes it will be easier for "the stonewalling" to continue: "It has been a flawless strategy so far" (TORONTO SUN, 8/6).