Melinda Rogers-Hixon exits Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment board amid ownership skirmish

Melinda Rogers-Hixon, the deputy chair of Rogers Communications Inc., has left the board of Maple Leaf Sports activities and Leisure, the mother or father corporation of hockey’s Toronto Maple Leafs and basketball’s Toronto Raptors, amid a skirmish more than the sporting activities empire’s possession.

Even though Ms. Rogers-Hixon’s departure from the MLSE board was not publicly introduced, her title has been eradicated from the list of directors on the company’s site. She has been replaced by David Miller, a previous Rogers RCI-B-T executive whose title is listed as special adviser to the CEO of Rogers.

Rogers felt it desired a person with a lawful track record to be a part of MLSE’s board, in accordance to a statement sent by Rogers spokesperson Sarah Schmidt: “David Miller’s knowledge in company law, together with his involvement in the original offer to invest in MLSE, manufactured him the great applicant.”

Ms. Rogers-Hixon “was supportive of the alter and resigned,” the assertion included.

A spokesperson for Ms. Rogers-Hixon declined to remark on her departure from the board, referring inquiries to Rogers Communications.

The adjust comes as Rogers and BCE Inc. BCE-T are challenging some of the terms in MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum’s plan to raise $400-million by providing a 20-for each-cent stake in a family-controlled holding enterprise, Kilmer Sporting activities Inc., to the Ontario Municipal Workforce Retirement System pension plan.

Kilmer Sporting activities owns 25 for every cent of MLSE, while Rogers and BCE evenly split the remaining 75 per cent via a jointly owned holding corporation.

The Globe and Mail formerly reported that during the summer months, Rogers and BCE sent a joint letter to Mr. Tanenbaum in which they raised inquiries about the conditions of the proposed sale. The character of their concerns is unclear.

Mr. Miller joins two other Rogers reps on MLSE’s board: Tony Staffieri, the main executive of the Toronto-primarily based telecom and media big, and the company’s chairman, Edward Rogers, who is Ms. Rogers-Hixon’s brother.

BCE’s representatives consist of its chief govt Mirko Bibic and its chief human resources officer and govt vice-president of corporate companies Nikki Moffat. Dale Lastman, the chair of regulation firm Goodmans LLP, is also a director.

Rogers and Bell initially invested in MLSE in 2012, obtaining their the vast majority stake for $1.32-billion. As aspect of that transaction, the two telecom giants negotiated the correct to acquire Mr. Tanenbaum’s MLSE shares in 2026, at a rate to be established.

The showdown in excess of MLSE’s ownership is playing out when valuations of pro sports groups are soaring thanks to climbing revenues from broadcast service fees and gambling. Classic television networks are shelling out much more for legal rights to game titles owing to opposition from streaming expert services these as Amazon Key.

In the slide of 2021, Mr. Rogers and Ms. Rogers-Hixon were being on reverse sides of a high-profile boardroom struggle more than leadership and management of Rogers Communications. The conflict, which divided the Rogers family, broke out when Mr. Rogers attempted to swap the company’s then-CEO, Joe Natale, with its main economical officer, Mr. Staffieri. The transfer faced opposition from the the vast majority of the company’s board, such as from Mr. Rogers’s mother, Loretta Rogers, and two of his sisters, including Ms. Rogers-Hixon.

Mr. Rogers wound up changing five of the company’s unbiased administrators by means of a composed resolution, without the need of holding a shareholder assembly, and the new board subsequently fired Mr. Natale and changed him with Mr. Staffieri. Mr. Natale and the enterprise are now embroiled in a legal fight.