June 21, 2009: While the NHL sweats out the situation with its franchise in Phoenix, another deal has taken a relatively simple route. George Gillett Jr, the majority owner of the NHL Montreal Canadiens, said that he has "reached an agreement in principle' to sell his 80.1% of the team to members of the Molson family. The deal also includes the Bell Centre and Gillett Entertainment Group. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Canadian newspapers were reporting the deal could be worth as much as $500 million (U.S.). Molson Coors already owned the remaining 19.9%. The Molson family has been associated with the club for over three generations. Gillett is co-owner of the Liverpool soccer team.
“Our family has been very proud to be associated with the Montreal Canadiens over the past eight years and particularly to be a part of their Centennial Season," Gillett said in a statement. "I am fully confident that the Molson brothers, who have been a great part of the heritage of the club, will ensure the preservation and development of this great sports institution." The deal must be approved by the NHL's Board of Governors. “This is a very exciting time for our family and we are grateful to the many people and organizations who came forward to offer their collaboration in the development of our proposal," Geoff Molson said in a statement. Back to Home Page