Michael Andlauer strikes deal to buy Sens


Main bidder pulls out of sales process of Ottawa Senators Image: Scotiabank Place, Janothird, CC BY-SA 3.0

A group led by Canadian businessman Michael Andlauer has reached an agreement to buy the National Hockey League’s (NHL’s) Ottawa Senators.

‘The Washington Post’ stated that the team announced on June 13th that Andlauer and his group will purchase 90 percent of the club from the Melnyk family (owner of the Senators). The deal is reportedly worth nearly $1 billion, which is “give or take” what the NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman expected the team in Canada’s capital to sell for.

The Ottawa Senators, officially the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and colloquially known as the Sens, are a professional ice hockey team based in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada). They compete in the National Hockey League (NHL) as a member of the Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference, and play their home games at the 18,652-seat Canadian Tire Centre, which opened in 1996 as the Palladium.

The 18,652-capacity Canadian Tire Centre is a multipurpose indoor arena in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, located in the Western suburb of Kanata. It opened in January 1996 as the Palladium and was also known as the Corel Centre from 1996 to 2006 and the Scotiabank Place from 2006 to 2013.

Senators Chairman and Governor Sheldon Plener said in a statement announcing the sale, “Michael represents everything we could have hoped to find coming into this process – a passionate owner who is committed to Ottawa. We believe it is a momentous day for the National Capital Region.”

Anna and Olivia Melnyk, daughters of Late former owner Eugene Melnyk, will retain 10 percent interest. Melnyk died of an undisclosed illness in March 2022 at age 62.

‘The Washington Post’ further stated that Andlauer, 57, is the founder and head honcho of a healthcare group with transportation options for that sector and started a private equity company based in Toronto (Canada). He owned the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs from 2004-2015, then purchased the Ontario Hockey League’s Belleville Bulls and moved them to Hamilton.

He has been alternate Governor for the rival NHL team Montreal Canadiens since purchasing a share of the storied franchise in 2009. Andlauer must sell his interest in the Canadiens before his purchase of the Senators is complete, a process that also includes being approved by the NHL’s Board of Governors.

Asserted Andlauer, “I believe that the Senators’ fan base is one of the most passionate in the league, and I’m excited to take the franchise’s success both on and off the ice to the next level. The short- and long-term future of the team is incredibly bright, and I look forward to getting to know the team, the fan base and the community.”

Forbes (ranked list) values the Senators at $800 million, 24th out of the NHL’s 30 teams.

Observed Bettman recently, “I’ve always felt that we’ve been undervalued, so this, to me, is just an affirmation that our franchises are more valuable than Forbes or Sportico (digital content company) or many investment bankers have said. While people focus on the revenue side, the system we have that gives every team an opportunity to compete is something that we don’t think, historically, we’ve been given enough credit for on the value proposition. Our competitive balance is extraordinary, and that should somehow be equating to higher values. I think you’re beginning to see that.”

Forbes is an American business magazine owned by the Integrated Whale Media Investments and the Forbes family. Published eight times a year, it features articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law.

The Senators sale garnered plenty of interest, including competing bids from the likes of movie star Ryan Reynolds, Canadian R&B singer The Weeknd and the American rapper Snoop Dogg.

The team instead went to Andlauer and minority owners, who will now be tasked with finding a downtown site for a new arena to replace the suburban rink that has been the Senators’ home since 1996.

Tardy Talks

Earlier, Toronto (Canada)-based businessman Steve Apostolopoulos, the presumptive owner of the sole $1 billion bid submitted for the National Hockey League (NHL) team Ottawa Senators, had pulled out over frustration surrounding the length of the negotiations, media reports stated.

‘PRO HOCKEY RUMORS’ stated that Apostolopoulos’ decision marked the second bidder to walk away. The above move comes after the Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds and the Markham-based Remington Group also withdrew last month due to the estate over former owner of the Ottawa Senators Eugene Melnyk and New York-based banker Galatioto Sports Partners’ (GSP) refusal to grant an extended negotiating window with the National Capital Commission and the City of Ottawa for a new arena.

Markham, Ontario (Canada)-based the Remington Group is a real estate developer that builds and operates a vast portfolio of residential, retail and commercial properties across Ontario.

New York (US)-based the Galatioto Sports Partners group of companies provides best-in-class advisory, lending, capital raising, and other services to clients in the professional sports industry.

Ontario (Canada)-based the National Capital Commission is the Crown corporation responsible for development, urban planning and conservation in Canada’s Capital Region, including administering most lands and buildings owned by the Government of Canada in the region.

New York (US)-based the National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams – 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada.

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