Media mogul and former Parti Québécois leader new owner of CFL’s Montreal Alouettes

Click to play video: 'Pierre Karl Péladeau buys Montreal Alouettes from CFL'
Pierre Karl Péladeau buys Montreal Alouettes from CFL
WATCH: Montreal businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau is the new owner of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes franchise. – Mar 10, 2023

At long last, the Montreal Alouettes have a new owner: Quebec media mogul Pierre Karl Péladeau.

The CFL made the formal announcement Friday morning at a news conference at the Olympic Stadium, but provided few details ahead of time.

Péladeau is the president and chief executive officer of Quebecor Inc. The Montreal businessman has a reported net worth of US$1.9 billion and he is the former leader of the Parti Québécois.

The 61-year-old described himself as a “proud Montrealer” who wants to give back. Péladeau will also represent the Alouettes as their lead governor on the CFL’s board of governors.

“It’s about the community investment,” Péladeau said of his decision to purchase the franchise. “It’s about being here and being strong and creating what Montrealers can be proud of.”

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CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie was there alongside a beaming Péladeau. The news come roughly a week after the league entered into exclusive negotiation with Quebecor Inc. regarding ownership of the Alouettes.

“Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a wonderful new era for the Montreal Alouettes,” Ambrosie said.

Péladeau is strong, passionate and community minded, he added. Ambrosie said it’s not just a great day for the franchise, but the entire league.

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“The future is bright and Pierre Karl, we have you to thank for that,” he said.

The media baron said he wants to bring stability and a long-term vision to the embattled franchise. Péladeau also thanked fans for their devotion to the Alouettes over the years.

Click to play video: 'CFL takes ownership of Montreal Alouettes'
CFL takes ownership of Montreal Alouettes

Péladeau made the decision to personally acquire the team, rather than doing so through media and telecommunications company Quebecor. He said that the company is in the midst of a $3-billion wireless deal which he did not want to disturb.

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“(The Alouettes are) not a company that is generating profits, it doesn’t mean that we won’t one day, but at this time it requires capital,” Péladeau said. “In that optic, we don’t want the Alouettes to be a distraction for our teams.

“It became obvious to me that a Quebecor implication in the Alouettes wasn’t appropriate but it will remain associated with the team because Quebecor can bring a lot to the Alouettes and the Alouettes can bring to Quebecor.”

The CFL is currently committed to a media rights deal with TSN and RDS, owned by Quebecor rival Bell Media, until 2025.

“The rights are managed by the league, there are no local rights,” Péladeau said.

The businessman added that he will see what happens in 2025, but he thinks “it would be premature to anticipate anything.”

“We’ll need to wait for the right time to assess that situation,” he said.

Last month, the CFL took ownership of the Alouettes. It marked the second time in about four years that the league took over operating the club.

It also appointed former president Mario Cecchini as the team’s interim president. But Cecchini won’t remain with the Alouettes after he was appointed commissioner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League earlier this week.

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The CFL also assumed control of the Alouettes from Robert and Andrew Wetenhall on May 31, 2019.

Ontario businessman Sid Spiegel and his son-in-law Gary Stern then bought the franchise in January 2020. But Spiegel died in July 2021 after never having the chance to see his club play because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A little more than a year later, Stern announced he was stepping away from day-to-day operations with the Alouettes and leaving his position on the CFL board of governors.

⁠— with files from The Canadian Press

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