SBD/Issue 145/Franchises

Big Names May Team For Canadiens As Next Phase Of Bidding Begins

Canadiens Owner Reportedly Into
Second Round Of Bidding For Team
A consortium of singer Celine Dion, Montreal businessman Stephen Bronfman and Quebecor Media Inc. President & CEO Pierre Karl Peladeau is "considering a joint bid" for the Canadiens, according to sources cited by Andrew Willis of the GLOBE & MAIL. Canadiens Owner George Gillett reportedly is into the "second round of bids for the team" and Bell Centre, and a source said that "potential buyers who made 'initial expressions of interest' now have full access to financial data on the Canadiens" and the arena. The aforementioned three-person consortium allegedly is "contemplating a dedicated pay-TV channel in Quebec that would carry" Canadiens games and other hockey-related content as a way to "increase revenues from the team." However, sources caution that it "will be difficult to strike a partnership that satisfies the strong personalities" of Dion and her husband, Rene Angelil, Bronfman and Peladeau. Sources also noted that Cirque du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberte "dropped out of the bidding" last week. While sources said that public pension firm Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is "not expected to be an equity investor" in the team, potential buyers are pitching the firm "for loans that would help finance the purchase, and are also trying to borrow from a number of major banks" (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/16). 

KEEP IT LOCAL: A Toronto Star-Angus Reid online poll indicated that 74% of Quebec residents said that "it's important" Gillett sells the team to someone from the province. From a given list of possible buyers, 35% of respondents said that they would like to see former Canadiens GM Serge Savard acquire the team, while 12% supported Laliberte and 9% chose Dion and Angelil. Another 16% said that it "made no difference who bought the team." Also, while 43% of respondents said that the provincial government "would be justified in lending money to local investors to buy the Canadiens," 39% opposed the idea (TORONTO STAR, 4/16).

Return to top

Related Topics:


Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug