BCE and Larry Tanenbaum in Talks to Buy Toronto Argonauts

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BCE Inc. and Canadian businessman Larry Tanenbaum are in talks to buy the Toronto Argonauts Canadian Football League team, according to sports broadcaster TSN.

The Argonauts are the last major Toronto sports team not controlled by either BCE or Rogers Communications Ltd. The team is owned by David Braley, founder of Hamilton, Ontario-based Orlick Industries Ltd. The Canadian Football League confirmed in a statement Braley is in talks to sell the team, without saying who the potential buyers are.

BCE, known by its brand name Bell, partnered with Rogers and Tanenbaum in 2011 to buy the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, Raptors basketball team and Toronto FC soccer team. Rogers owns the Toronto Blue Jays, the city’s Major League Baseball team.

Rogers and Bell, which both own TV channels and run the country’s two largest wireless networks, have been amassing sports and TV content they can sell to their cable, smartphone and Internet subscribers.

TSN, which is majority-owned by BCE, cited unnamed sources which said Rogers was not interested in joining Bell in buying the Argonauts. Kevin Spafford, a spokesman for Toronto-based Rogers, and Scott Henderson, a spokesman for Montreal-based Bell, declined to comment.

Argonauts Chief Executive Officer Chris Rudge didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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