Report: Russian billionaire wants Leafs

September 15, 2009, 2:30 AM

Sportsnet.ca — According to reports, Russian billionaire Alex Shnaider is crunching the numbers on how much it would take to buy the Toronto Maple Leafs’ parent company — Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment — from its owners.

Shnaider, a one-time owner of the Midland F1 team, has expressed “initial interest” in acquiring the sports holding company. Although the Russian-born billionaire has yet to contact MLSE personally, according to the Toronto Star he has participated in meetings with investment banking officials with former Leafs forward Tie Domi.

A recent report concluded MLSE is worth a staggering $1.5-billion thanks to a roster of assets which includes the Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, the Air Canada Centre and digital channel Leafs TV.

The Leafs alone are the most valuable NHL team at $332 million, with the league average sitting at $180 million.

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