Ontario Teachers’ Considers Sale of Toronto Leafs Hockey Team

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan said it’s considering selling its 66 percent stake in the company that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs National Hockey League team and the Raptors basketball club.

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 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., 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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