Ontario Teachers’ spokeswoman Deborah Allan declined to provide further details in an e-mailed statement today. La Presse reported earlier today that the pension fund has hired Morgan Stanley (MS) to find a buyer for the stake, looking to raise about C$1.3 billion ($1.33 billion) in a sale, the Montreal- based newspaper said.
A sale of the Toronto Maple Leafs, which has won the Stanley Cup 11 times, would give a potential buyer one of professional hockey’s most valuable franchises, according to Forbes.com. The team was founded in 1917.
Speculation about a sale of the Leafs stake accelerated in December after the Toronto Star reported the fund wanted to sell Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment for C$1.3 billion to Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI/B), Canada’s largest wireless carrier.
Ontario Teachers’ bought an additional 7.7 percent stake in Maple Leaf Sports in August 2009, boosting its ownership to 66 percent, the Toronto-based company said at the time.
Ontario Teachers’, Canada’s third-biggest retirement fund manager, has more than C$100 billion in assets.
Maple Leafs Sports also owns the Toronto FC soccer team, the Air Canada Centre arena and the Toronto Marlies junior hockey team.
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