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The sale of the Ottawa Senators is coming to a close as a group led by Toronto-based businessman Michael Andlauer has reached an agreement in principle to purchase the team, the Senators announced Tuesday.Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

The Ottawa Senators might finally be coming off the market.

The NHL team announced on Tuesday that a group led by Michael Andlauer had reached an agreement in principle to purchase it for close to US$1-billion. The news comes after months of speculations and a list of contenders spanning from billionaires to A-list celebrities including Ryan Reynolds, Snoop Dogg, and The Weeknd.

While Michael Andlauer has long been a figure in the hockey world, with this announcement, an increasing number of Canadians are wondering who the billionaire is, and how he made his money.

Who is Michael Andlauer?

Mr. Andlauer is a 57-year-old Toronto-based businessman who made his fortune in logistics.

He is the founder and CEO of Andlauer Healthcare Group Inc., a company that dominates logistics for the pharmaceutical and health care industries and helped deliver COVID-19 vaccines across Canada. After three decades in the industry, Mr. Andlauer’s stake in the company is worth $1.1-billion, according to a regulatory filing.

What other businesses does he own?

He’s also the founder of Bulldog Capital Partners, a Toronto-based merchant bank focused on private equity investments. Investments from Bulldog Capital include Toronto-based goPeer, a consumer peer-to-peer lending platform, and the acquisition of British fertility clinic Bourn Hall Ltd.

How did Mr. Andlauer win the bid?

Mr. Andlauer was an early favourite to be the next owner of the Senators because of his proven relationship with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and team owners, the Globe and Mail’s Andrew Willis reported in November.

What is Mr. Andlauer’s interest in hockey?

A lifelong hockey fan and Montreal native, Mr. Andlauer joined a consortium led by the Molson family to acquire the NHL’s Canadiens for US$575-million in 2009. He serves as one of the team’s three “alternate governors” on the league’s board. Mr. Andlauer is already making plans to sell his stake in the Canadiens as part of his bid for the Senators, according to the sources.

Mr. Andlauer is the sole owner of the Ontario Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs, which he acquired in 2015 and relocated to Hamilton after 34 years in Belleville.

He’s also known for being a former beer league goalie.

What are Mr. Andlauer’s plans for the Ottawa Senators?

According to a statement from the Senators, an entity controlled by Mr. Andlauer has entered into an agreement to purchase 90 per cent and operational control, while Anna and Olivia Melnyk will retain a 10 per cent interest in the club. Once the sale is approved, Mr. Andlauer will assume control of the organization’s operations.

“I believe that the Senators’ fanbase is one of the most passionate in the league and I’m excited to take the franchise’s success both on and off the ice to the next level,” Mr. Andlauer said in the release.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has repeatedly said a condition of the sale was that the team remain in Ottawa.

With reports from Andrew Willis, The Canadian Press, Abigale Subdhan.

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