Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan’s move to sell its ownership stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) “made sense” after a long-term investment by the pension fund, according to a former head of the firm.

“When we bought the Leafs that was an interesting transaction, eventually we got involved with the Raptors, we got involved with the Toronto FC,” said Claude Lamoureux, a former president and chief executive officer of OTPP in an interview with BNN Bloomberg’s Greg Bonnell Thursday.

“So [when] you look at that, it started as a fairly small company, relatively speaking, and in the end, it sold at a pretty good premium.”

Lamoureux, who retired from his position at Teachers’ in 2007, wasn’t with the pension fund when it sold its MLSE stake to BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. for $1.32 billion in 2012. But he said the owner of the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs is now in the right hands. 

“I think it’s probably the right owners, people who have TV rights, and so it probably made sense at the time to sell it,” he said. “We had it for over 20 years, so this is a pretty long-term investment. 

Lamoureux served as the president and CEO of Teachers’ for 17 years and was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame on Wednesday.