Member of the Molson family considers bid to buy Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL – A pitch to acquire the Montreal Canadiens is brewing in the Molson family.

Geoffrey E. Molson, vice-president of marketing for the Molson Coors Brewing Co. (TSX:TPX.A), said in a statement Tuesday he’s interested in submitting a bid to buy the hockey team.

The statement indicated that any bid would come from Geoffrey E. Molson and his immediate family, which includes his brothers Andrew and Justin. Any move to acquire the team by the Molson family would not include the Molson Coors company.

If he eventually acquires the Habs, he would become the latest member of the beer-making family to own a stake in the storied NHL franchise.

Several members of the Molson family owned shares of the Canadiens from 1957 to 2001 – when the team and the Molson Centre (now the Bell Centre) were sold to current majority owner George Gillett.

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Today, Molson Coors owns 19.9 per cent of the team.

Gillett, who has an 80.1 per cent share in the club, has appointed financial advisers to explore a recapitalization of his assets, which could include the sale of the Canadiens.

Potential buyers for the team include media giant Quebecor (TSX:QBR.A) and Rene Angelil, husband and manager of pop star Celine Dion.

Geoffrey E. Molson, 38, a board member at Molson Coors and for the Canadiens, said he wouldn’t sit in on any meetings on either board that include discussions about the sale of the Habs. Board vice-chairman Andrew Molson would also decline to participate in any such conferences.

Last October, Forbes magazine valued the franchise at $334 million, putting it third in the NHL, behind the New York Rangers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.