SBD/July 19, 2012/Franchises

Major Changes Coming For MLSE Board As Sale To Rogers, BCE Nears Completion

The long-awaited sale of a majority interest in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment "to Rogers Communications Inc., and BCE Inc., is on schedule to close Aug. 1," according to sources cited by David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. Once the sale closes, the MLSE BOD "will undergo a major change." It will "shrink from seven directors to six, as the incoming company president is not expected to get a seat." Leaving the BOD "will be Robert Bertram, Jane Rowe, Glen Silvestri and Ashvin Malkani, who represented the former owner, the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board." Richard Peddie "stepped down from the board when he retired as MLSE president earlier this year." The only holdovers on the new board will be MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum, "who owns the other 25 per cent of the company, and his long-time associate Dale Lastman." The other four BOD seats "will be split equally between Rogers and BCE." A source said that Rogers President & CEO Nadir Mohamed and BCE CEO George Cope "will be on the board but it isn’t known who the other BCE and Rogers representatives will be." It also is unknown if the new owners "have settled on a replacement for Peddie as MLSE president." The leading internal candidate is MLSE COO Tom Anselmi, "who appears to have the support of Tanenbaum and Lastman." But both Rogers and BCE "have kept their feelings quiet." The hiring of a new president "will require the unanimous approval of the MLSE board" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/19).
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