Multiple sources are telling me tonight that those wishing to get their hands on Ontario Teachers Pension Funds’ MLSE shares must have their bids in by April 25th. No one is willing to confirm (nor deny) the story this evening, at least not to me.
I am told that interested parties have been told to submit their best offer on April 25th.
Does this mean a sale is close or will even happen? No.
In talking to several industry sources tonight, the known list of bidders is said to be relatively small. Despite what Rogers Communications has said publicly, many expect them to at least play the role of interested observer. While Rogers focuses primarily on the content side these days, I am not sure owning the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, TFC Soccer isn’t the best way to get your hands on premiere content in this country. Bell is the other name that has been mentioned by several industry executives. Could an unknown American party become “interested”? Time will tell.
Keep in mind that even while the bids are due and negotiations could ultimately land a new suitor for Teachers shares, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end as Larry Tanenbaum still, despite what Bill Watters says, has a right of first refusal on the transfer of any shares. So it is possible that a party not part of the bidding process could still end up with some portion of the franchise if a side deal were done with Tanenbaum.
I am told that what happens on the 25th could very well dictate how several things unfold this summer, namely, Bryan Colangelo’s contract, Jay Triano’s contract and even the Toronto Maple Leafs radio rights.
I am sure there will be more as we edge closer to the 25th.