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Streetwise newsletter: MLSE’s football play; Disney’s foray into streaming war

Over the past 10 years, Bay Street’s best-rated stocks failed to beat the S&P/TSX composite index.

Mark Blinch/The Globe and Mail

It's easy to fault Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment for failing to win a championship at the company's flagship Toronto properties, the NHL's Maple Leafs and the NBA's Raptors. It's impossible to fault MLSE for its ability to create a first-class fan experience, and its ability to separate that fan from every available dollar. On MLSE's watch, the stands are always full and broadcasts are ratings winners. That business acumen explains why MLSE ended up acquiring another Toronto team on Wednesday by purchasing the CFL's Toronto Argonauts. Story (Andrew Willis, for subscribers)

The mouse is roaring. Walt Disney Co.'s blockbuster $52.4-billion (U.S.) deal to buy most of Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox, announced on Thursday, takes aim at an exploding direct-to-consumer content market that's dominated by Netflix and challenged by the likes of Apple and Amazon.com. Story (Jeffrey Jones, for subscribers)

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is creating a renewable-energy and power group, jump-starting its investment strategy with a deal for Brazilian wind assets. Story (Jacqueline Nelson, for subscribers)

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Ontario's securities watchdog is looking to mirror a U.S. ban against Miles Nadal, former CEO of MDC Partners Inc. Story (Alexandra Posadzki)

Financial-services giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is boosting its investment in Toronto-based fintech startup Financeit by an undisclosed amount, injecting cash that will allow the point-of-sale financing provider to make a new acquisition and expand into the United States. Story (Alexandra Posadzki, for subscribers)

DEAL WRAP

Auto-parts maker Linamar Corp. says it will acquire an agricultural equipment maker for $1.2-billion, a deal that means a major expansion for its existing agricultural business. Story (Greg Keenan)

Canada's Fairfax Africa Investments Proprietary Ltd will not proceed with a plan to buy 23 per cent of cement producer PPC for 2 billion rand ($188.36-million), the South African company said on Monday. Story

The value of music streaming service Spotify, which is planning a stock market listing, has grown around 20 per cent to at least $19-billion (U.S.) in the past few months, outperforming U.S. and European tech indexes, sources familiar with the matter said. Story

Walt Disney Co has struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox Inc for $52.4-billion (U.S.) in stock, giving the world's largest entertainment company an arsenal of shows and movies to combat growing digital rivals Netflix Inc and Amazon.com Inc. Story

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Target Corp will buy grocery delivery platform Shipt Inc for $550-million (U.S.) in cash, it said on Wednesday, promising same-day delivery of all goods by the end of 2019 to lure customers that have turned to online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc. Story

Workboard, a startup that develops software for companies to manage and measure their business strategies, has raised $9.3-million (U.S.) in a series A round of funding from Microsoft Ventures and Floodgate, with participation from other existing investors. VentureBeat

WHAT WE'RE READING

Canada's market for initial public offerings came roaring back this year from a dismal 2016, due in no small part to new issues backed by private equity and venture capital funds. PE Hub

It's official: According to a price analysis from Convoy Investments that went viral this week, the rise of bitcoin has overtaken Tulip Mania of the 1600s and the Mississippi Bubble of the 1700s to become the largest asset bubble in world history. This as futures exchanges start trading contracts on the cryptocurrency. Pitchbook

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. demanded some clients set aside funds equal to the full value of their bitcoin futures trade as a condition for clearing the transaction, according to people familiar with the investments. Bloomberg

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Waking Up to the Fintech Hangover: The Monetary Authority of Singapore has made a big push for innovation in financial technology – now the regulator is warning about the risks inside the fintech fanfare it has helped create. Institutional Investor

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Fidelity Canada is opening a trading desk in Toronto in order to gain competitive advantages in the marketplace including closer proximity to the deals on Bay Street. Story (Clare O'Hara, for subscribers)

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