The board of directors of Senators Sports & Entertainment announced Tuesday that a group led by Michael Andlauer has entered into an agreement to purchase the controlling interest of the Ottawa Senators.
Although the board has not disclosed the terms of the deal, multiple reports put the purchase price at nearly $1 billion.
The transaction next goes before the NHL’s board of governors, to whom Andlauer is familiar. He owns a 10% stake in the Montreal Canadiens and is an alternate governor. He also owns the Ontario Hockey League’s Brantford Bulldogs.
Andlauer, 57, would divest his stake in the Montreal franchise before being fully approved to take over the Senators. He agreed to terms of the sale, which prohibited moving the team from Ottawa, and shared plans for a new arena as part of his bid.
“My family and I are very excited to be part of the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club,” Andlauer said in a statement. “I believe that the Senators’ fanbase 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 fanbase and the community.”
“Michael represents everything we could have hoped to find coming into this process — a passionate owner who is committed to Ottawa,” said Sheldon Plener, chairman and governor of the Senators.
Andlauer’s offer edged a joint effort by Jeffrey and Michael Kimel of Harlo Capital to purchase the Senators. The Ottawa Sun reported that the bid submitted by Los Angeles-based producer Neko Sparks was “underfunded,” and Toronto-based billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos dropped out of the bidding.
Previous owner Eugene Melnyk purchased the team out of bankruptcy in 2003. He died in March 2022, and his daughters, Anna and Olivia Melnyk, inherited the franchise. They will retain a 10% interest in the club.
Andlauer is the CEO of the Andlauer Healthcare Group Inc. and has 35 years of experience in the transportation industry in Canada. He also founded Bulldog Capital partners, a merchant bank based in Toronto.
One of seven NHL franchises based in Canada, the Ottawa Senators returned to the league in 1992 after a 58-year absence. The modern-day Senators have captured four titles in the Northeast Division and, in 2002-03, a Presidents’ Trophy.
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.
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