Report: Fenway Sports Group sought MLSE merger before pursuing Pens

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Fenway Sports Group previously explored the possibility of joining forces with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

At least one year ago, the entity that operates MLB's Boston Red Sox and the Premier League's Liverpool inquired about a merger with MLSE before ultimately going after the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins.

"About 12-18 months ago, before Fenway Sports Group went down this road with the Penguins, an emissary was dispatched to ask Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment ... if they would be interested in a merger with Fenway," Friedman said on Saturday's "32 Thoughts" TV segment.

"It didn't go very far, as I've been told (MLSE) made it clear they weren't ready for that yet," Friedman said.

The potential move would have come with obstacles. Rogers Communications, which owns MLB's Toronto Blue Jays, holds a 37.5% stake in MLSE, the company that oversees the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA's Toronto Raptors, MLS' Toronto FC, and Scotiabank Arena.

Earlier this week, it was reported Fenway Sports Group was in advanced talks to purchase the Penguins. The Fenway group is helmed by billionaire John Henry, while hockey legend Mario Lemieux and investor Ron Burkle have operated the Penguins since 1999.

Report: Fenway Sports Group sought MLSE merger before pursuing Pens
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