Slippery When Wet: Jon Bon Jovi's Toronto Group Ready To Drop Bills Bid?
Jon Bon Jovi and his Toronto backers "are reassessing whether even to continue in their pursuit" of the Bills, because their bid "has been on the rocks for weeks and no one within the group is optimistic they'll wind up buying the NFL team," according to sources cited by John Kryk of QMI AGENCY. The potential withdrawal "has nothing to do" with the announced departure of MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke, but rather "everything to do with (1) the group's limited bidding power with Bon Jovi in the lead, and (2) lingering doubts about whether the trust would sell the club to a group that continues to refuse to commit to keeping the Bills in Western New York long-term." Sources said that the Toronto group members -- Bon Jovi, MLSE Chair Larry Tanenbaum and Rogers Communications Deputy Chair Edward Rogers -- are "taking the next week or so to assess where their bid is at and to discuss what they could possibly do at this stage to mount a formidable, effective bid." Sources said that the group's maximum bid, which "is somewhere between" $1-1.2B, "isn't nearly enough to compete" with Sabres Owner and Bills bidder Terry Pegula. Bon Jovi, Tanenbaum and Rogers "know it." The group on Wednesday "cancelled a scheduled tour of Ralph Wilson Stadium" (QMI AGENCY, 8/21). Leiweke's reps insist that the "failure of the group’s bid for the Bills didn’t factor into the decision to leave MLSE next year" (TORONTO STAR, 8/22). FORBES' Mike Ozanian reported Pegula bid $890M for the Bills, while the Toronto group bid $820M and Donald Trump bid $809M (FORBES.com, 8/21).