Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Mr. Gillett invites your bid

The deadline is short and the need to have your banker on side no doubt is great. But it seems more than likely that before this week is out, we'll have a very good idea as to who really has what it takes to own the Montreal Canadiens and which names are but mere posers.

The Globe and Mail has posted a story which outlines the process that has been going on over the last few weeks, as prospective investors have taken their forensic accountants to the front lines in a quest to find out the true status of the Canadiens financial picture.

The names of those potential owners reads like a who's who of Quebec financial status, Radio Canada, the french version of the CBC in Quebec outlined that the high profile tire kickers include such names as billionaire businessmen Stephen Bronfman of Claridge Investments Inc.; Joey Saputo, son of cheese magnate Lino Saputo; and Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil.

Also gaining notice for their interest were Celine Dion and promoter-husband René Angélil, Quebecor the media champion in the province and Aldo Bensadoun founder of the ALDO Group, a Montreal based shoe and leather consortium. Should they put in a bid and find that it's successful, the Habs could at least become the best dressed team in the NHL.

We are however still a fair ways away from naming a new owner and new era for the Canadiens, formal bids are to be tabled by 5 p.m. tomorrow and there are said to be something like 50 potential investors all looking for their shot at one of the most historic of NHL franchises.

It seems likely that it's only a matter of time now before George Gillett moves on into the setting sun of his time in Montreal, what remains to be seen is who will survive the rigorous process of elimination and financial discovery to end up in control of an original six franchise and who wil begin to add yet another chapter to the remarkable history of Les Canadiens.
Photo above comes from the BBC website

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