The Montreal Canadiens and John Hancock Life Insurance Company completed, on March 14, 2003, the monetization of the $100 million sponsorship agreement entered into with Bell Canada on February 22, 2002, providing Bell Canada with elements of advertising prominence on the inside and on the outside of the Bell Centre and the status of major sponsor. The monetization transaction also required the participation of the National Hockey League (NHL), Molson Inc., an indirect shareholder of the Montreal Canadiens and a significant sponsor of the team, and the Montreal Canadiens’s syndicate of lenders.
The Montreal Canadiens were represented in Canada, by Pierre Raymond, Etienne Massicotte, Robert Hogan, Viateur Chénard, France Margaret Bélanger, Marie-Andrée Beaudry, Nicolas Vanasse and Marise Chabot of Stikeman Elliott LLP in Montreal, and in the U.S., by Greg Bynan, Robert Beranek, Jeffrey Elkin and John Kalyvas of Winston and Strawn in Chicago.
John Hancock Life Insurance was represented in Canada, by Ken Atlas, Glen Bowman, Robert Campbell (financing), Manon Jolicoeur, Normand Quesnel, Chantal Sylvestre (real estate) and Manon Thivierge (tax) of Heenan Blaikie LLP in Montreal, and in the U.S., by Mark Sternberg, Ross Taylor, Daniel Kraus, Kevin Knohl and Angela Whiteside-Smith of Schiff Hardin & Waite in Chicago. Bell Canada was represented in-house by Jean-François Legault, vice-president and general counsel in Quebec, assisted by John Godber, Sylvie Bouvette and Vincent Frenette of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Montreal.
The syndicate of lenders was represented in Canada, by Jane Bogaty, François Courteau and Serge Levy of Ogilvy Renault in Montreal. The NHL was represented in-house by David Zimmerman, senior vice-president and general counsel in New York, assisted by Douglas Gibson and Sean Reid of Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C. Molson was represented in-house by Marie Giguère, senior vice-president, CLO and secretary, assisted by J. Robert Doyle of McCarthy Tétrault LLP in Montreal.