SBD/August 20, 2014/Franchises

Source: Bills Sale Entering Final Stage As Potential Buyers Asked To Submit Formal Bids

The sale of the Bills is "entering its final stage with prospective buyers asked to submit their formal bids in about two weeks," according to a source cited by John Wawrow of the AP. The timetable was "pushed back about a week" because Morgan Stanley "extended a deadline last month in an attempt to increase the number of prospective bidders." A new owner is "still expected to be identified by October, but it’s not certain whether it will be in time to be approved by NFL owners at league meetings in early October." That approval would "come only after the prospective candidate’s background and finances are vetted and approved by the league’s finance committee." Sources said that former Sabres Owner Tom Golisano has "not yet met" with late Owner Ralph Wilson’s estate. Sources added that a group headed by Pro Football HOFer Jim Kelly "turned down" Jon Bon Jovi’s "request to join forces last week" (AP, 8/19). QMI AGENCY's John Kryk cited a source as saying that Bon Jovi reached out to Kelly "at the suggestion" of Morgan Stanley as a "means of making their bid 'more Buffalo friendly.'" Kelly already has "a prospective bid partner -- bond investor Jeffrey Gundlach, who would provide all of the duo's financing." But Gundlach is "not wealthy enough to bid alone so he and Kelly are hoping to obtain an ownership share either with an existing bidder or in a yet-to-be-formed bid group." The source said that fans should "not interpret Morgan Stanley's match-making attempt with Kelly as any expression of favouritism toward the Bon Jovi/Toronto bid" (QMI AGENCY, 8/19). Meanwhile, the Bills have chosen VITEC to supply their HDTV delivery to over 920 displays throughout Ralph Wilson Stadium (VITEC).
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