Eugene Melnyk

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Eugene Melnyk
Born (1959-05-27) May 27, 1959 (age 61)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationBusinessman, sports franchise owner
Known forFounder Biovail Corporation, Owner Ottawa Senators, Philanthropist
Net worth$1.20 billion (2020)[1]
Board member ofOttawa Senators
Children2
AwardsOrder of St. Michael (2008)[2]

Eugene Melnyk (born May 27, 1959) is a Canadian[3][4][5] businessman, philanthropist and current owner, governor and chairman of the National Hockey League (NHL)'s Ottawa Senators and AHL’s Belleville Senators. He is the founder, former chairman, and CEO of Biovail Corporation, once Canada's largest publicly traded pharmaceutical company[6] with more than C$1-billion in annual revenue. He sold almost all of his holdings of the company by 2010. Canadian Business magazine ranked Melnyk 79th with a net worth of $1.21 billion on its 2017 list of Canada's 100 wealthiest people.[7] He is also one of the richest residents of Barbados.[8][9]

Business career[edit]

Trimel Corporation[edit]

In 1982, Melnyk founded medical publishing company Trimel Corporation, which was sold to Thomson Publications (part of The Thomson Corporation) in 1989.

Biovail Corporation[edit]

In 1989, Melnyk founded Biovail Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company. During his time as chairman and CEO of Biovail, revenues grew from $19 million in 1995 to $1.067 billion in 2006. One of Biovail's strategies was to look for drugs with expired patents, then reinvent them with the company's proprietary technologies. One example was producing drugs that had controlled-release features that let patients take the drug once a day instead of several times.[10] He retired as Biovail Corporation's chairman in 2007. The company was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals in 2010 and is now Bausch Health.[11]

Clean Beauty Collective Inc.[edit]

In 2007, Melnyk purchased a controlling stake in the Canadian beauty line Fusion Brands Inc.. The deal was estimated to have been worth $85 million U.S. according to several analysts.[12] After several years under the Fusion Brands Inc. name, the company rebranded in 2018 under the name Clean Beauty Collective Inc. to mark its 15th anniversary. According to a press release of the announcement, the Clean Beauty Collective Inc. is a boutique beauty company specializing in creating and manufacturing brands that are organic, ethically sourced and eco-conscious.[13]

Neurolign Technologies Inc.[edit]

In 2019, Eugene founded Neurolign Technologies Inc., a medical device company specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. He currently serves as the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.[14]

Sports ownership[edit]

Mississauga IceDogs[edit]

Melnyk's first foray into sports franchise ownership came in 2001 with the purchase of the St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League. At the time, the club played at the St. Michael's College School's Arena in Toronto, but Melnyk aimed to move the team to nearby Mississauga. As there was already an OHL team in Mississauga, the Mississauga IceDogs, Melnyk subsequently purchased the IceDogs franchise in 2006 and resold them in 2007 in order to facilitate the move of the Majors from Toronto to Mississauga. Per the deal arranged by Melnyk, the IceDogs' new ownership relocated the team to St. Catharines, Ontario and the team became known as the Niagara IceDogs. On May 10, 2012, Melnyk sold the St. Michael's Majors (now called the Mississauga Steelheads) to Elliott Kerr for an undisclosed price.[15]

Ottawa Senators[edit]

On August 26, 2003, Melnyk purchased the Ottawa Senators NHL franchise along with their arena, then known as the Corel Centre. At that time the team was facing bankruptcy and an uncertain future in Ottawa, and was purchased for the sum of US$92 million.[16]

As of December, 2020, the Ottawa Senators were listed by Forbes magazine as the NHL's twenty-sixth highest valued franchise at US$450 million.[16] The team has enjoyed some success on the ice under Melnyk's tenure, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007.

Attendance[edit]

During the 2018-19 season the team set a franchise record for unfilled seats, with attendance dropping to a 22-year low. During that season, the team drew an average of 14,553 fans to its home games, the team's lowest attendance figures since it began playing in its current arena towards the end of the 1995-96 season. Attendance had been trending downward since 2012-13, when Senators' home games attracted an average of 19,408 fans.[17]

Relationship with fanbase[edit]

In 2017 when Melnyk told reporters that he would be open to the idea of moving the franchise to a different city if the fanbase didn't make efforts to increase attendance at Senators' home games. When pressed by reporters to clarify whether or not he would consider moving the team out of Ottawa, Melnyk replied, "If it becomes a disaster, yes. If you start not seeing crowds showing up, yes."[18]

In early 2018, some fans in Ottawa had gradually become disillusioned with Melnyk's management style and perceived unwillingness to spend the money needed to build a championship caliber team. This came after the Senators fell just one overtime goal shy of reaching the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals,[19] and resulted in pressure from the Senators' fanbase for a change in team ownership in 2018, which culminated in a crowdfunding campaign to pay for billboards to go up across Ottawa.[20] Despite the backlash, Melnyk has often stated on the record that he has no intention of selling the franchise.[21]

On September 11, 2018, the Senators released a video online in which Melnyk outlined the franchise's plans for a rebuild. The video received considerable criticism from fans and media for its awkward presentation and for the owner's own characterization of his team as being "in the dumpster".[22] The relationship between Melnyk and Senators' fans further deteriorated at the 2019 trade deadline when the Senators traded away their leading scorers and remaining core players, Matt Duchene, Ryan Dzingel, and Mark Stone, all of whom were well liked in the community. Despite earlier promising to make every effort to re-sign the star players, Melnyk later contradicted himself when he was quoted as saying that trading away Mark Stone had been "[planned] for some time" as part of the rebuild.[23]

Other[edit]

In November 2018, fingers were pointed at Melnyk after a collection of newly created and suspicious Twitter accounts began appearing, all of which praised Melnyk's performance while attacking his detractors. The Twitter accounts largely targeted certain writers who covered the Senators for local newspapers the Ottawa Citizen and Ottawa Sun, making similar claims that these writers had treated Melnyk unfairly. Speculation immediately arose that these were bot accounts and not real human beings. A subsequent investigation conducted by the Ottawa Citizen revealed that, although the bots could not be conclusively traced back to Melnyk, they were "created to launch a co-ordinated disinformation campaign and to attack media coverage of the Sens while lauding the team and its owner Eugene Melnyk".[24]

Belleville Senators[edit]

in 2016, the Ottawa Senators in partnership with the City of Belleville, ON announced that Melnyk purchased the American Hockey League franchise which was currently located in Binghamton, New York, and that the team would relocate to Belleville, Ontario for the 2017-18 AHL season. The team agreed on an 8-year lease to welcome the Belleville Senators to the city. The Belleville Senators are the Ottawa Senators' AHL affiliate team.[25]

Other[edit]

On September 16, 2008, Melnyk proposed plans for an Ottawa Major League Soccer professional soccer team, and a new soccer-specific Ottawa Soccer Stadium [26] but could not obtain support from Ottawa's municipal Council. Instead, the Mayor and Council chose a different site for the Canadian Football League's Ottawa Redblacks franchise.

In 2009, Melnyk served as chairman of the IIHF World U20 Championship.[27]

Business ventures[edit]

  • Ottawa Senators (NHL Team)[28]
  • Canadian Tire Centre (Multi-purpose Arena and home of the Ottawa Senators)[29]
  • Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation[30]
  • Biovail Corporation (retired),[31] formerly known as Trimel Pharmaceuticals (same name as Melnyk's new pharmaceutical company) [31]
  • Bert's Bar (Barbados)[32]
  • Bert's Bar (Ottawa)[33]
  • Providence Charitable Trust[34]
  • Providence Elementary and Secondary schools[35]
  • Winding Oaks Farm (Florida, USA)[36]
  • Clean Beauty Collective Inc. (Cosmetics & Fragrances)[37][38]
  • Olivann (Fragrance) [39]
  • PurGenesis Technologies Inc.[40][41]
  • Barbados real estate [42]
  • Neurolign Technologies Inc.[43]
  • Belleville Senators[44]

Philanthropy[edit]

Eugene Melnyk is involved with various charitable organizations. His primary charitable focus is on helping children and the elderly. His involvement has included:

  • Honorary Director of Help Us Help the Children (HUHC), a humanitarian organization that benefits from his annual donation of medical supplies and clothing. The organization, founded in Canada, helps to offer vital care to over 100,000 children living in 220 orphanages scattered throughout Ukraine.[45]
  • Donated $1.8 million to St. Michael's College School to upgrade the field with new state-of-the-art artificial grass, stadium lights, sound system, and an electronic scoreboard. This field is called "The Eugene Melnyk Sports Field".[46][47] Melnyk has made several significant donations to the school making him the single largest individual donor in the 150+ year history of the St. Michael's College School.
  • Donated $1 million to the Belmont Child Care Association for the construction of a child care center at Belmont Park. Called Anna House, it is named after one of his two daughters and the center is the first facility in the United States to be located on the grounds of a racetrack. The center provides child care for all families who work at Belmont Park regardless of their ability to pay for services. Many of the children belong to grooms, exercise riders and other behind-the-scenes racetrack employees.[48][49]
  • Donated to finance the elaborately decorated Ukrainian, Byzantine Catholic chapel at the St. Demetrius Residence Centre for the elderly in Toronto.[50]
  • Donated $1 million to launch the foundation "Patrons of Sport" with Canadian Athletes Now Fund (CAN Fund). The foundation supports Canadian athletes.[45][51]
  • Honorary Patron of the St. Joseph's Health Centre; Donated $5 million to St. Joseph's Health Centre in Toronto to help improve patient access to one of Toronto's oldest hospitals. Eugene's father, the late Dr. Ferdinand Melnyk, was instrumental in creating the hospital's first emergency room department that now services the largest volume of patients of any single site hospital in the Greater Toronto Area. This donation was the single, largest private donation in the 86-year history of St. Joseph's Health Centre.[52]
  • In April 2007 Eugene made a special surprise visit to Kandahar, Afghanistan to deliver a special donation of hockey equipment to Canadian and United States troops involved in the NATO rebuilding efforts in that country.[45]
  • The Ottawa Senators Foundation is the second largest charity in Ottawa/Gatineau region. His involvement with this Foundation has led him to become a Founding Partner of an ambitious and innovative $4.5 million pediatric palliative care facility in Ottawa called Roger's House which he helped to officially open in April 2006 and is only the second facility of its kind in North America.[53]
  • Hosts the "Eugene Melnyk Skate for Kids" event at Canadian Tire Centre every year where he donates Senators jerseys, helmets and brand new skates to hundreds of underprivileged children living in Ottawa.[54]
  • In 2014 Melnyk spearheaded a campaign to boycott sponsors of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in order to push FIFA to remove the event from Russia, out of protest for its war with Ukraine.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Melnyk was born in Toronto, Ontario, on May 27, 1959, and is of Ukrainian heritage.[4][5] He is a Canadian citizen and also a resident of Barbados.[56]

In July 2019, Melnyk was sued by Connecticut casino Mohegan Sun for more than US$1 million over a gambling dispute that occurred in 2017. The casino alleged that Melnyk failed to make good on a US$900,000 debt when multiple bank drafts totalling the amount were "dishonored" by TD Bank. Melnyk claimed the casino refused his requests to cash him out when he was winning, and his lawyer Jonathan Katz alleged that the casino "induced" Melnyk to continue playing by refusing to cash him out when his play had led to winning "significant amounts of money". [57][58][59][60]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Ottawa Senators Media Guide 2007-08. Ottawa Senators Hockey Club. 2007.
  1. ^ "The Top Billionaire in Barbados". investopedia.com. Retrieved August 13, 2020.
  2. ^ Mr. Eugene Melnyk St. Michael's College
  3. ^ Bulka: Presumed consent the wrong approach Ottawa Citizen, May 24, 2015
  4. ^ a b Ukrainian-Canadians answering call of the homeland The Star, Dec 22 2014
  5. ^ a b Sens owner Melnyk urges Canadian action on Ukraine The Globe and Mail, March 25, 2014
  6. ^ Dey, Pav Jordan, Esha (2010-06-21). "Drugmaker Biovail to buy Valeant in $3.3 billion deal". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-12-15.
  7. ^ Canadian Business, December 9, 2013 issue
  8. ^ Melnyk – one of the wealthiest - NationNews Barbados - Local, Regional and International News - nationnews.com
  9. ^ alpha services - Barbados Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ BIOVAIL CORP./Ontario, Canada Drug Firm Has Last Laugh Over Questionable Buy - Investors.com
  11. ^ Anderson, Scott (2010-03-22). "Melnyk cashes out on Biovail investment". Reuters. Retrieved 2020-12-17.
  12. ^ "PressReader.com - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  13. ^ Inc, Clean Beauty Collective. "Fusion Brands America Inc. Announces New Company Name, Clean Beauty Collective Inc. And Mission To Mark Its 15th Anniversary". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  14. ^ "Neurolign". neurolign.com. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  15. ^ Kerr buys Mississauga Majors
  16. ^ a b https://www.forbes.com/teams/ottawa-senators/?sh=5839382a2814. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  17. ^ "Ottawa Senators' average attendance hits 22-year low in 2018-19 season". OBJ Staff. Ottawa Business Journal. April 9, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  18. ^ Fox, Luke (December 15, 2017). "Ottawa owner talks moving Senators: 'If it becomes a disaster, yes'". Rogers SportsNet. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  19. ^ https://www.thescore.com/nhl/news/2065073
  20. ^ Tang, Justin (March 19, 2018). "Frustrated Senators fans' #MelnykOut billboards go up across Ottawa". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  21. ^ Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk: Team is not for sale | Senators | Sports | Ottawa Sun
  22. ^ "Ottawa Senators are 'kind of in the dumpster,' owner declares to fans in ostensibly motivational video". Postmedia Network Inc. September 11, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2018.
  23. ^ The Toxic Culture of the Ottawa Senators
  24. ^ Fenton, Drake (November 16, 2018). "How a collection of apparently fake Twitter accounts launched a troll campaign to support the Ottawa Senators". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  25. ^ https://www.nhl.com/senators/news/ottawa-senators-owner-eugene-melnyk-purchases-ahl-team-and-partners-with-city-of-belleville/c-282137476
  26. ^ "Bring the World to Ottawa". Archived from the original on 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  27. ^ He also served as chairman of the Host Organizing Committee which was responsible for overseeing this major international hockey tournament. The event saw Team Canada win its fifth consecutive gold medal and the overall tournament shattered all financial, economic and broadcast records: nearly a half million tickets were sold for the event which generated in excess of $80 million in regional economic activity for the nation's capital. Eugene Melnyk: Executive Profile & Biography - Businessweek
  28. ^ Ottawa Senators
  29. ^ Canadian Tire Centre :: Home
  30. ^ Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation
  31. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-04-29. Retrieved 2006-04-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. ^ "Bert's Barbados - Welcome". Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2006-04-29.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-08-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ Yearwood, Trevor (2009-07-06). "'All-inclusive' school by 2010". Nation Newspaper. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
  35. ^ Providence School
  36. ^ Winding Oaks Farm
  37. ^ Home page Fusion Beauty
  38. ^ Eugene Melnyk Acquires Fusion Brands Inc. and Fusion Brands International
  39. ^ CORRECTION FROM SOURCE/Eugene Melnyk and Olivann Beauty Congratulates British Band One Direction on Launch of New Fragrance
  40. ^ Account Suspended
  41. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-04. Retrieved 2012-08-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  42. ^ Players got nothin' on these coaches Archived 2013-10-31 at the Wayback Machine
  43. ^ "Neurolign". neurolign.com. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  44. ^ https://www.nhl.com/senators/news/ottawa-senators-owner-eugene-melnyk-purchases-ahl-team-and-partners-with-city-of-belleville/c-282137476
  45. ^ a b c Biography Archived 2013-08-29 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-08-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  47. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNnWaKXD2Ho[permanent dead link]
  48. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qNnWaKXD2Ho sponsor=[permanent dead link]
  49. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-06. Retrieved 2009-10-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  50. ^ Ukrainians abroad strive to keep alive cultural traditions of the homeland
  51. ^ CANADIAN ATHLETES NOW FUND | Eugene Melnyk launches national 'Patrons of Sport' campaign in support of Canadian athletes Archived 2013-07-04 at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ Eugene Melnyk Donates $5 million to St. Joseph’s Health Centre Improves Patient Access to one of Toronto’s Oldest Hospitals
  53. ^ Roger'S House Officially Opens Its Doors | Ottawa Start.Com Archived 2007-08-08 at the Wayback Machine
  54. ^ Eugene Melnyk Skate for Kids creates a lifetime of memories - Ottawa Senators - News
  55. ^ https://ottawacitizen.com/sports/hockey/nhl/senators-extra/melnyk-leads-boycott-of-world-cup-sponsors
  56. ^ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/110315/top-3-billionaire-living-barbados.asp
  57. ^ “Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun Casino Sues Billionaire Ottawa Senators Owner Eugene Melnyk for $1 Million Over Unpaid Markers". Casino.org. 16 Sept 2019.
  58. ^ "U.S. casino sues Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk for more than $900K". CBC Staff. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. September 14, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  59. ^ https://ottawacitizen.com/business/local-business/bagnall-melnyk-giving-no-ground-in-suit-over-gambling-debt
  60. ^ https://calvinayre.com/2019/10/02/casino/nhl-owner-claims-mohegan-sun-refused-cash-chips/

External links[edit]