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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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NHL Stake Sale Reportedly Fetches Highest-Ever Valuation At $2.5B

  • Equity stake sale in Canadiens sets new league record
  • Original Six franchise benefits from sport's health on national and local levels
Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Newly installed Ottawa Senators owner Michael Andlauer hasn’t had a chance to put his full stamp on the franchise yet. 

But he’s already setting records with his old one. 

Andlauer, who officially took the reins of the NHL club in late September, was forced to sell his 10% minority stake in the Montreal Canadiens to comply with league rules. Canadiens owner Geoff Molson and his family exercised a right of first refusal to buy that stake, doing so at a $2.5 billion team valuation that sets a new NHL record, according to Sportico. 

The figure more than doubles Andlauer’s own $950 million purchase of the Senators, which had been the highest price ever paid for an NHL team, at least on a standalone basis. 

A stake in Toronto Maple Leafs parent Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment sold this summer at an $8 billion valuation, but that expansive company also owns the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, MLS’ Toronto FC, Scotiabank Arena, and numerous other assets.

In each of these instances, though, the valuations reflect a healthy and growing state for the NHL, one that includes a projected attendance record for the 2023-24 season, further potential expansion, unprecedented revenue, long-term labor peace with the NHL Players Association, and lucrative media rights contracts with Disney and WBD collectively worth nearly $4.4 billion.

For the Canadiens, there are also several local factors driving up the valuation. The club is one of the NHL’s Original Six franchises and has won a league-record 23 Stanley Cups, though the last one was 30 years ago. Despite that drought, the Canadiens are also a consistent NHL leader in attendance, regularly packing the 21,000-seat Bell Centre.

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