Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Red Bull owner looking to buy Canadiens

Rumours out of Austria have Canadiens owner George Gillett in secretive talks to sell the franchise to Dietrich "Didi" Mateschitz, the billionaire behind Red Bull.

Donald Beauchamp, the Canadiens’ vice-president of communications and community relations has said the team is not for sale but two websites in Austria are reporting that Gillett has been involved in “top secret” negotiations with Mateschitz. Of interest, Mateschitz told a reporter from Le Journal de MontrĂ©al last year that he was interested in adding an NHL team to his portfolio.

George Gillett recently purchased FC Liverpool of the English Premier League so I suspect that move is what has sparked the rumour, if it is just rumour. Gillett has been an excellent owner of the Montreal Canadiens, noted for his hands-off approach so adding a historic team like Liverpool to his portfolio just seems to be yet another wise investment. I would be shocked if he sold the Montreal Canadiens with the team closing in on celebrating it's 100th anniversary though you can be certain the story will be watched closely.