The Canadian Football League has officially sold the Montreal Alouettes to entrepreneur and businessman Pierre Karl Péladeau, who acquired the club on a personal basis.
The 61-year-old Montreal native has an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion USD. He is the CEO of Quebecor, a Montreal-based media and telecommunications company that operates assets such as Videotron, Groupe TVA, Le Journal de Montreal and Le Journal de Quebec. The company’s sports and entertainment division currently owns and operates the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“I am delighted to be the new owner of the Montreal Alouettes, a team with a long history that has a significant impact on our community because it brings us together. I love sports and I am a proud Montrealer,” Péladeau said in a statement.
“This team that I saw rise to the top of the CFL and win the Grey Cup is our team; it’s the fans’ team. I want to bring stability and a long-term vision, which will allow us to put Montreal back at the top of Canadian football. I want to thank our fans for their continued loyalty. I would also like to thank the commissioner of the league, Mr. Randy Ambrosie, and the members of the board of governors, for their trust.”
The CFL took over interim control of the Alouettes franchise last month in the hopes of finding a new owner. The team’s future was placed in jeopardy after the estate of the late Sid Spiegel elected to stop funding operations.
The Alouettes were originally purchased by S and S Sportsco, a corporate entity owned by Spiegel and his son-in-law Gary Stern, in January 2020. However, Spiegel passed away in July of 2021 having never seen his team play, leaving his 75 percent stake in the franchise under the control of two anonymous lawyers.
The team had previously endured a year-long period of league ownership after long-time owner Robert Wetenhall surrender the franchise in May of 2019.
“Our goal in this process was to put the Alouettes on a path to long-term success, ideally under strong, local ownership,” Ambrosie said in a statement.
“That goal has been accomplished. This is a special day for this incredible franchise, its fans across Quebec, and the city of Montreal. Pierre Karl and his passion for sports, entertainment and his community are remarkable. I know he will do a tremendous job in stewarding the Alouettes.”
Montreal has a long history with football, the first written account of a game in the city dates back to 1868. The roots of a professional club can be traced back to 1872 in the Mechanics Hall Building at McGill University.
In 1946, the Montreal Alouettes Football Club was founded as a successor to the teams of years past. The club’s name was chosen as an homage to the first French Canadian squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The Alouettes have since won seven Grey Cups.
“This is an exciting new chapter in the story of the Montreal Alouettes,” Ambrosie said. “I’d like to thank the Als’ fans for their belief in the team, and I would especially like to extend my gratitude to the front office and staff for their patience and trust throughout this process. This outcome would not have been possible without the support of the league’s board of governors; the leadership of its chair, Scott Banda; and our investment banking partner, Park Lane.”
With the addition of Péladeau, who will represent the Alouettes’ interests as the team’s lead governor on the CFL board of governors, the CFL has built a team including Amar Doman of the B.C. Lions, Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, Hamilton Sports Group, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, and boards who guide the league’s community-owned teams in Edmonton, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg.
“Strong ownership and leadership, including the team presidents who form our management council, have the league positioned for stability and growth,” Ambrosie added.