Wednesday, December 13, 2017
MLSE TO BUY ARGOS
MLSE announced Wednesday it has an agreement to buy the Grey Cup champions.
There was already some cross-ownership. The Argos are currently owned by two-thirds of the MLSE triumvirate - chairman Larry Tanenbaum's holding company, the Kilmer Group, and Bell Canada.
In bringing the Argos fully into the MLSE fold, Rogers Communications will officially join its two MLSE partners as part of the CFL team's ownership.
Bell and Tanenbaum bought the Argos from David Braley in May 2015 after nearly a year of talks. Rogers did not get involved at the time, with speculation that it was not interested in the franchise because the CFL was tied to Bell, through its broadcast affiliate TSN.
Rogers owns the Blue Jays, the city's other major sports franchise, although there have been reports recently that the team may be available for the right price.
Rogers shot down that suggestion Wednesday when asked about why the change of interest in the CFL team.
"As we have said there are no plans to sell the Jays,'' a Rogers spokeswoman said. "We continue to look for the best way to get credit for our incredible sports portfolio in our overall company valuation.''
The sale is expected to close in January 2018, according to MLSE.
Approval from the CFL board of governors would not seem to be a problem.
"On the heels of a stunning Grey Cup showdown with the Calgary Stampeders that highlighted the sheer excitement of Canadian football, we're thrilled that the Argonauts will be joining the MLSE roster,'' CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. "We welcome MLSE to the CFL and look forward to working with them to further enhance the experience for Canadian football fans.''