Tonawanda News

Bills

May 22, 2014

Buffalo Bills officially for sale with new hires

Tonawanda News — BUFFALO — The “for sale” sign is up at the Buffalo Bills with the hiring of financial and legal advisers who may begin talking with prospective buyers within the next month.

The announcement Wednesday of a transaction team that includes Morgan Stanley financial advisers and Proskauer Rose legal experts came a day after the Bills’ chief financial officer, Jeffrey Littmann, updated NFL owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell about the sale process during league meetings in Atlanta.

The Bills, whose long-term future became uncertain with the death of owner Ralph Wilson in March, were last valued by Forbes to be worth $870 million.

The price tag is expected to approach $1 billion because NFL teams don’t often come up for sale and numerous prospective owners may become involved in the bidding. The Cleveland Browns sold for about that much when Jimmy Haslam purchased the team in 2012.

According to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, Former Buffalo Sabres owner Thomas Golisano intends to place a bid on the Western New York NFL team.

Golisano, a Rocheter native, owned the Sabres from 2003 until 2011 when he sold the franchise to current owner Terry Pegula.

A new owner could be selected by Wilson’s estate by the end of July and presented for approval at league meetings in October.

Donald Trump and former Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly are among those who’ve shown interest in owning the Bills.

Another prospective group could include Toronto-based businessmen Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications.

Other names that have been circulating include Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula and former owner B. Thomas Golisano. Amid fears a new owner could eventually relocate the team, Golisano said he would do all he could to ensure the Bills’ future in western New York.

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