Eugene Melnyk (born May 27, 1959) is a Ukrainian Canadian businessman who has resided in Barbados since February 1991. He is the current and sole owner, governor, and chairman of the Ottawa Senators professional ice hockey franchise of the National Hockey League (NHL). He is the founder, former chairman and CEO of Biovail Corporation which was acquired by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. Canadian Business magazine ranked Melnyk 77th with a net worth of $1 billion on its 2014 list of Canada's 100 wealthiest people. He is also one of the richest residents of Barbados, where he now lives.
In 1982, Melnyk founded medical publishing company Trimel Corporation, which was sold to Thomson Publications (part of The Thomson Corporation) in 1989. Melnyk then founded Biovail Corporation, a specialty pharmaceutical company, in 1989. 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. Melnyk retired from his position as chairman and CEO of Biovail on June 30, 2007.
In 2003 a Biovail trucking accident destroyed a shipment of drugs, and Biovail executives overestimated the loss. When the actual earnings were released, the loss was much lower and earnings were positive. This caused shareholder frustration and legal actions. In the Ontario Securities Commission complex decision in 2010, the panel ruled Melnyk didn't breach any specific securities rules because the information in the press release was not misleading "in a material respect." But it concluded his actions were still "contrary to the public interest", which is a broad and open-ended violation that does not require a finding of guilt on any specific securities law.
While Melnyk would pay $565,000 to cover OSC costs in the matter, he was not assessed any fine or financial penalty. Thomson (Melnyk's lawyer) said such a payment could not be assessed for acting "contrary to the public interest" without any specific breach of the Securities Act.
Earlier in the same year Melnyk had settled with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), agreeing to pay a civil penalty of $150,000 US, and he had previously paid $1 million U.S. to settle other claims with the SEC.
In 2008, Melnyk started another pharmaceutical company named Trimel Pharmaceuticals. Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation is a specialty pharmaceutical company actively developing medications for male hypogonadism, female sexual dysfunction, and various respiratory disorders. The Corporation holds a licence for the development and marketing rights worldwide, excluding Brazil and Russia, to certain products utilizing a bioadhesive intranasal gel drug delivery technology platform and owns a novel unit-dose dry powder inhaler / nasal dispersion system ("TriVair™"). The Corporation is actively pursuing the development and application of these technologies for therapeutic categories such as (a) male hypogonadism, (b) female orgasmic disorder, and (c) respiratory disorders, representing multibillion-dollar market opportunities in the United States alone. Trimel is still in the early stages of development but is expected to reach a partnership and begin production in 2014.
He also has business interests in the cosmetics industry and is a major shareholder of a botanical biotechnology company.
Sports franchise owner
On August 26, 2003, Melnyk purchased the Ottawa Senators hockey club of the NHL and their arena, Corel Centre out of bankruptcy. He is the sole owner and holds the titles of governor and chairman.
Melnyk's first sports franchise purchase was the St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League in 2001. Until 2007, the club played at the St. Michael's College School's Arena in Toronto, but has now relocated to Mississauga, Ontario. As there was a club already in Mississauga, the IceDogs, Melnyk purchased the IceDogs in 2006 and resold them in 2007 to move the Majors into the IceDogs home arena. The new ownership of the IceDogs has relocated the team to St. Catharines, Ontario and is now 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.
On September 16, 2008, Melnyk proposed plans for an Ottawa Major League Soccer professional soccer team, and a new soccer-specific Ottawa Soccer Stadium 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 Junior Championship.
In January 2012, Melnyk hosted the National Hockey League All-Star Game at his arena, the Canadian Tire Centre. In 2005 and 2008, he hosted the NHL Entry Draft.
In June 2013, Melnyk announced the naming rights change of his arena from Scotiabank Place to Canadian Tire Centre. He made this decision based on a preference for the new sponsor Canadian Tire over Scotiabank.
Melnyk has repeatedly stated that the team is not for sale and he would never consider selling it. Although the Ottawa Senators are a Canadian ice hockey club, the team yields little to no profit year to year. In the 2012–2013 season, the average ticket prices of the Ottawa Senators were sixth cheapest in the league; Anaheim, Colorado, Dallas, Tampa Bay, and Phoenix were the only cheaper tickets.
Thoroughbred horse racing
Eugene Melnyk is the owner of Melnyk Racing Stables Inc. and Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Florida, a 1,100-acre (4.5 km2) property on land that was formerly Tartan Farms and where such racing legends as Dr. Fager and Ta Wee are buried. His racing and horse breeding operations have more than 200 Thoroughbreds. All of the Melnyk racehorses are named after Barbados landmarks and carry the blue and gold national colours. Blue and gold are also Ukrainian national colours.
Melnyk's horse Kathir won the prestigious Sandy Lane Gold Cup in Barbados in 2004, however 10 months later was disqualified after the champion horse tested positive for banned substance methylprednisolone. Melnyk used his immense wealth and personal resources to get the disqualification overturned in a bitter legal battle with the Barbados Turf Club. Despite the legal decision in his favor, the stain on his reputation remains, with future investigations of insider trading in one of his companies only adding more fuel to the fire. Melnyk was named a trustee of the New York Racing Association in August 2003, a position from which he resigned in January 2007. Melnyk was a co-recipient of the National Turf Writers Association's 2002 Joe Palmer Award and has also been honored by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association as national owners of the year in 2005, and he formerly sat on the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association board of directors.
In 1998, his colt Archers Bay won Canada's most prestigious race, the Queen's Plate. Melnyk has won all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown with two horses: Archers Bay and Lodgehill. Another highlight came in 2007 with the 3-year-old filly Sealy Hill, who became the first filly to win the Canadian Triple Tiara, which legs include the $500,000 Woodbine Oaks, the Bison City Stakes, and the Wonder Where Stakes, since the series was inaugurated in 1999. Sealy Hill was awarded with triple Sovereign Awards–3-year-old filly, turf female and Canadian Horse of the Year and was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in August 2013. Melnyk has won 12 Sovereign Awards.
Top racehorses include champion sprinter Speightstown, winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Sprint, Marchfield (2007 Breeders' Stakes), Flower Alley (2005 Travers), Pool Land (2006 Ruffian), Marley Vale (Test), Tweedside (Coaching Club American Oaks), Bishop Court Hill (Carter), Harmony Lodge (Ballerina), along with other graded stakes winners Indian Vale, Gouldings Green, Strong Hope, Host, Fisher Pond, Lodge Hill, Bovell, Pico Teneriffe, and Graeme Hall. Owns a substantial quantity of bloodstock and is standing stallions in Florida and Kentucky, including Speightstown (at WinStar Farm), Strong Hope (at Winding Oaks Farm), and Flower Alley (at Three Chimneys Farm), Graeme Hall, and Harlington (Winding Oaks Farm).
Melnyk's Flower Alley is the sire of I'll Have Another, which won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and was suddenly retired on the eve of the Belmont Stakes (the third leg of the U.S. Triple Crown) with an injury to his left front tendon.
In February 2013, Eugene sold a few of his broodmares to refocus the business from breeding to purchasing yearlings and racing those instead. His dedication and investment in the thoroughbred racehorse industry remains strong and substantial, and he can be regularly seen attending many of his horses' races.
- Ottawa Senators (NHL Team)
- Canadian Tire Centre (Multi-Purpose Arena and home of the Ottawa Senators)
- Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation
- Biovail Corporation (retired), formerly known as Trimel Pharmaceuticals (same name as Melnyk's new pharmaceutical company)
- Bert's Bar (Barbados)
- Bert's Bar (Ottawa)
- Providence Charitable Trust
- Providence Elementary and Secondary schools
- Winding Oaks Farm (Florida, USA)
- Mississauga St. Michael's Majors (sold) (OHL Hockey Club)
- Mississauga Ice Dogs (sold) (OHL Hockey Club)
- Fusion Brands Inc. (Cosmetics & Fragrances)
- Olivann (Fragrance)
- PurGenesis Technologies Inc.
- Barbados real estate
- Ottawa Senators
- Canadian Tire Centre :: Home
- Trimel Pharmaceuticals Corporation
- ^ http://www.biovail.com/
- Bert's Barbados - Welcome
- Yearwood, Trevor (2009-07-06). "'All-inclusive' school by 2010". Nation Newspaper. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
- Providence School
- Winding Oaks Farm
- Home page Fusion Beauty
- Eugene Melnyk Acquires Fusion Brands Inc. and Fusion Brands International
- CORRECTION FROM SOURCE/Eugene Melnyk and Olivann Beauty Congratulates British Band One Direction on Launch of New Fragrance
- Account Suspended
- Players got nothin' on these coaches
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.
- 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". 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.
- Donated to finance the elaborately decorated Byzantine-style Ukrainian Catholic chapel at the St. Demetrius Residence Centre for the elderly in Toronto.
- Donated $1 million to launch the foundation "Patrons of Sport" with Canadian Athletes Now Fund (CAN Fund). The foundation supports Canadian athletes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Appointed to the Advisory Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC). The UCC brings together all national, provincial and local Ukrainian Canadian organizations to represent the interests of one of Canada's largest ethnic communities and works to help shape the country's social, economic and political landscape.
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.
Eugene Melnyk was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, in Canada. He now resides permanently in Barbados. Eugene is divorced and has two children.
Melnyk was made honorary Colonel of the No. 414 Squadron RCAF.
On May 19, 2015 Melnyk underwent a successful liver transplant surgery at Toronto General Hospital, located in his hometown of Toronto.
Books and TV
Eugene has been featured in the following books:
- "Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money, and the Future of Canadian Business" by Diane Francis
- "Going for the Green: On the Links with Canada's Business and Political Elite" by Robert Thompson
- "The Pied Pipers of Wall Street" by Benjamin Cole
He has also been featured in the following TV shows:
- 60 Minutes: "Betting on a Fall"
- CBC's Venture – 2 episodes