MLSE co-founder thrilled to share sports organization investment with over 600,000 hard-working Ontarians
OMERS, one of Canada's largest defined benefit pension plans, has acquired a five percent indirect stake in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) for $400 million. The acquisition was made possible through a 20 percent direct stake in Kilmer Sports Inc. (KSI), a company owned by MLSE chair Larry Tanenbaum.
“As an owner of MLSE, I’ve always seen myself as a steward of a public trust, working in service to the fans and the public to build Canada’s most iconic sports teams and win championships. Now with this investment by OMERS, I’m thrilled to be sharing this public trust with over 600,000 hard-working Ontarians. Today is a good day for the future of MLSE,” says Tanenbaum.
KSI currently holds a 25 percent ownership in MLSE. Tanenbaum, who owns KSI, also serves as the chairman and CEO of Kilmer Group. Tanenbaum played a pivotal role in the establishment of MLSE in 1998, an organization known for delivering top-quality sports and entertainment experiences.
“This is an exciting and unique opportunity for OMERS members in Ontario communities to be connected to these iconic sports teams in their own backyard,” says Blake Hutcheson, president and CEO at OMERS.
“As an investor on their behalf, we actively seek out investment opportunities of the highest quality, that are fortified by trusted partnerships and that offer the potential of significant long-term upside. This one happens to be here in Canada and Ontario which is also really important, and meaningful to OMERS.”
Upon the completion of this transaction, Tanenbaum will retain an 80 percent stake in KSI, which in turn will maintain its 25 percent stake in MLSE. OMERS, in its role as a financial investor, will not participate in the operational decisions of MLSE or any of its teams.
OMERS currently has $127.4 billion in net assets as of June 30, 2023.