IS CLANCY'S BID FOR VIKINGS NEAR "COLLAPSE"?
Tom Clancy's bid to buy the Vikings "appeared on the
verge of collapse Thursday as new deal-breakers emerged,"
according to Don Banks of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.
Vikings owners say that "potential flaws" include: an effort
by Clancy to lower the $200M purchase price by about $15M;
the inclusion of Rockets Owner Leslie Alexander in Clancy's
group; and "continuing concerns that Clancy, who is going
through a divorce, does not have the personal fortune to own
a team." Three NFL owners said that the current deal "will
not be approved by the owners," and "several" Vikings co-
owners said that the inclusion of Alexander "could prompt
them to vote against the final sale agreement." Clancy
spokesperson Marc Ganis dismissed the possibility that the
deal was in trouble and said, "A lot of what is coming out
is over-reaction" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 5/15).
DETAILS & QUESTIONS: In St. Paul, Jeff Seidel reports
that some Vikings owners were "irked" that Ganis tried to
modify the deal by requesting to have part of the payment
deferred because the team has assumed additional debt re-
signing free agents. Ganis said that the changes he
requested amounted to less than 10% of the purchase price.
He said that the proposal "has been withdrawn, but several
owners called it a sticking point in negotiations."
Meanwhile, reports have varied on how much Alexander and
Clancy would invest and sources said that the NFL's concern
about approving the deal "stems from the fact Alexander
would have more cash invested in the team than Clancy."
Vikings co-Owner Wheelock Whitney said that Clancy needs to
have a $60M commitment to get league approval. Whitney: "We
didn't sell the team to Alexander; we sold it to Clancy."
But Ganis said $60M was not an accurate figure for Clancy's
investment (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/15). In St. Paul,
columnist Bob Sansevere: "Ganis has put the deal together.
If this deal flies, it will be because of Ganis. If it
fails, it will be because of Ganis" (PIONEER PRESS, 5/15).
MORE NEWS: In Houston, John Williams reports that NFL
officials said yesterday "they will take steps" to make sure
the Vikings stay put, "including making their next owner
promise not to break the team's Metrodome lease." Williams
adds that while Alexander has entered the picture, Houston
businessman Bob McNair said he "dropped his interest" in the
Vikings after being told they have a performance lease
locking them to MN. In "the past two weeks," McNair offered
$200M for the team "amid speculation Clancy's proposal would
crater" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/15). If Clancy's deal does
fall through, San Antonio business exec Red McCombs said
"he's ready to make a cash transaction." McCombs: "We could
close in 24 hours" (Charley Walters, PIONEER PRESS, 5/15).
...In their divorce proceeding, Clancy's wife Wanda
estimates in her counterclaim that Clancy's current holdings
and contracts for future books are worth "at least" $191M.
She hasn't said how much she wants, only that she is aiming
for her "fair share" (Annie Gowen, WASHINGTON POST, 5/15).