Celine Dion eyeing bid for Montreal Canadiens

Wed Apr 8, 2009 11:35pm EDT
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By Etan Vlessing

TORONTO (Hollywood Reporter) - Canadian pop star Celine Dion, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte and Quebec cable giant Quebecor Media have emerged as potential bidders for the Montreal Canadiens NHL team.

Quebec broadcaster Radio-Canada said Wednesday that the Bank of Montreal has signed confidentiality agreements with 10 potential suitors who have until 5 p.m. Thursday to submit formal bids to 80 percent majority owner George Gillett, a Denver-based sports team and events promoter.

Other interested parties include U.S. investment firm Spectrum Equity; Montreal businessman Stephen Bronfman of Claridge Investments, a cousin of Warner Music Group chairman and CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr.; and the Caisse de depot et placement, a provincial pension fund giant.

In addition to picking up the hockey team, a Canadiens buyer would acquire the Bell Center arena in Montreal and a concert promotion division.

Gillett also owns Richard Petty Motorsports and the U.K.'s Liverpool soccer club.

(Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters)

<p>Celine Dion performs on stage at the Stade de Geneve in Geneva July 9, 2008. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>