Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Bids for Bills sale could start within the next month


Less than a month ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo hired a law firm to represent New York's interests in any upcoming negotiations for the sale of the Buffalo Bills.

Wednesday, the team got its ducks in a row, prepping for talks with potential buyers that could take place in as early as a month.

The Bills announced in a press release they retained the services of Morgan Stanley and Proskauer Rose to respectively handle their financial and legal issues as negotiations get closer to a reality. As Mike Rodak of pointed out, those talks could happen before the beginning of July.

"It is anticipated that the transaction team will begin contacting prospective buyers within the next 30 days," the team's statement said. "This sale process will be designed to ensure that the club continues to comply with, and remains faithful to, its obligations under the NFL’s rules and regulations as well as its obligations to New York State and Erie County pursuant to the Ralph Wilson Stadium lease."

Calling the two firms Buffalo's "transaction team," Bills CEO Russ Brandon lauded the pair as "experienced and talented" when it comes to handling the sale and mergers of sports acquisitions. He told WGR 550 Wednesday the move and announcement marks just another step in the long line of "methodical" steps taken to get a deal in motion.

"This will really begin the vetting process of the sale," Brandon said. "The bank will go through all the interested parties and vet them. I’m very focused and I think our organization is very focused so that we can provide the needed deliverables to the National Football League."

According to Rodak, big names such as Donald Trump and Jon Bon Jovi continue to show a vested interest in the sale, though he points out they likely will not be the only parties who put in a bid. 

He notes Bon Jovi has combined forces with the Toronto-based firm that owns the Maple Leafs and Raptors, a group that likely has intentions on moving the team north of the border. Trump, on the other hand, has been quite vocal about his urge to keep the team in Western New York.

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