UPDATE 1-Rogers in talks to buy Toronto Maple Leafs-report

* Cites sources close to the talks

* Deal said to be valued at around C$1.3 billion
(Recasts, adds comment from Teachers)

TORONTO, Dec 1 (BestGrowthStock) – Rogers Communications (RCIb.TO: )
is in talks to buy a majority stake in sports conglomerate
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Maple
Leafs and NBA’s Raptors, the Toronto Star newspaper reported.

It was not clear whether Rogers, one of Canada’s biggest
mobile phone companies and owner of the Toronto Blue Jays
baseball team as well as cable and media businesses, was the
only bidder.

The asking price for the 66 percent stake in MLSE,
currently owned by the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, is
around C$1.3 billion ($1.27 billion) the paper said on
Wednesday, citing sources close to the talks.

“We are not commenting on this. It is our policy to neither
confirm nor deny such stories,” Teachers’ spokeswoman Deborah
Allan told Reuters.

The report said a deal would include all of MLSE’s sports
properties, including TV stations, but not the company’s real-estate holdings.

Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment owns the NBA’s Toronto
Raptors, the Maple Leafs NHL team, the Marlies AHL franchise
and the Toronto FC MLS franchise. It also owns prime sporting
real estate, including the Air Canada Centre, and various other
properties, along with three TV stations.

The teams are huge revenue earners but have had less
success in winning championships.

Rogers Communications owns Canada’s biggest wireless
company and operates cable and media businesses. It also owns
the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
($1=1.02 Canadian Dollar)
(Reporting by S. John Tilak in Bangalore and Pav Jordan in
Toronto; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

UPDATE 1-Rogers in talks to buy Toronto Maple Leafs-report