WEDNESDAY, 4:34pm: Kryk confirms that the Toronto group has indeed resubmitted its initial bid for the Bills (Twitter link). There has been no word yet on whether the new bid will allow the group to continue on in the process.
TUESDAY, 1:13pm: The Toronto group pursuing the Bills, which is headed by Jon Bon Jovi and also includes Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment chairman Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family, will be resubmitting its bid for the franchise, according to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun. Kryk reports that Morgan Stanley – the firm overseeing the Bills’ sale – actually rejected the group’s first bid because the figure was “uncompetitively low” and the firm wanted more assurances that the group intended to keep the Bills in Western New York.
The new proposal by the Toronto group is expected to be in the $1-1.1 billion range, according to Kryk, who adds that if this new bid is deemed insufficient by Morgan Stanley, the group will be out of the running for the franchise. Otherwise, the firm figures to invite the Bon Jovi-led group to participate in the final stage of the sale process, which should also include Donald Trump, Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, and any other potential bidders that may be permitted to enter the mix.
While the Bills’ sale remains in the fairly early stages, there have already been a number of surprising twists. After reports suggesting that a number of contenders were expected to make bids for the franchise, only the three aforementioned parties are believed to have submitted initial bids in time for last week’s deadline. Since then, both Bon Jovi and Trump have publicly discussed their bids, which may violate the non-disclosure agreement they signed with the franchise. Pegula is the only known bidder who has not publicly discussed the process.
Per Kryk, Pegula’s bid is believed to be in the $1.3 billion range. It appears that Morgan Stanley is hoping for a competitive offer from the Toronto group if only to give Pegula some competition, but the group’s ceiling may be limited — Bon Jovi has been unwilling thus far to accept a minority role in the group, despite the fact that his partners are wealthier. Principal owners must have at least a 30% financial stake in an NFL franchise, so the Toronto group’s maximum bid may be around $1.2 billion, says Kryk.