Rogers Communications and Bell Canada agree joint investment in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

Canadian communications and media company Rogers Communications Inc (TSX:RCI.A) (NYSE:RCI) said today that it has entered into an agreement to invest in Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), a Canadian sports and entertainment group.

Rogers and Canadian telecoms company Bell Canada have agreed to jointly acquire a net 75% stake in MLSE from the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

The net cash commitment from Rogers, following a planned leveraged recapitalisation of MLSE, amounts to approximately USD533m for a 37.5% equity interest in the company. The transaction will be funded with cash on hand at closing. At the same time KSI Investments, owned by Larry Tanenbaum, will increase its current 20% ownership interest in MLSE to 25%.

Rogers said that this investment advances its strategy to deliver content anywhere, anytime and on any platform across its broadband and wireless networks and its media assets, while strengthening the value of its sports brand, Sportsnet.

The deal is expected to be completed in mid-2012, subject to regulatory and league approvals.