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.
“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.
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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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