The estate of late Bills owner Ralph Wilson has yet to appoint an investment banking firm to put an updated value on the franchise and oversee negotiations for the sale of the club, meaning the formal bidding process has yet to get underway. However, that doesn’t mean that potential bidders aren’t lining up to make a run at the Bills.
As John Wawrow of The Associated Press writes, the Bills were valued at $870MM by Forbes last year, but the sale price figures to be even higher, given the number of interested parties. Erie County deputy executive Richard Tobe said he has been approached by about 10 prospective ownership groups, which he has told to contact the team. Here’s a few updates from Wawrow on investors interested in making a bid on the Bills:
- We’ve heard about Donald Trump‘s interest in buying the Bills, and Michael Cohen, Trump’s executive vice president, reiterated that the billionaire is serious about getting involved: “There’s nobody more serious than Donald Trump. Donald Trump has made it crystal clear that the Bills will remain in Buffalo.”
- Bills legend and former quarterback Jim Kelly is expected to pursue an ownership role with the team as well, according to his brother – and the vice president of Jim Kelly Inc. – Dan Kelly. Despite undergoing treatment for a recurrence of sinus cancer, the former Bills signal-caller “will be an active participant in it moving forward,” says his brother.
- Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs is another potential bidder for the Bills, according to Wawrow. Jacobs has yet to publicly announce his intentions, but a source tells Wawrow that the Jacobs family “is definitely a player.” The NFL doesn’t allow owners to control major sports franchise in separate markets, so Jacobs Sr. would have to sell the Bruins to own a stake in the Bills, which he has said he doesn’t intend to do. However, that doesn’t preclude his sons, Jeremy Jr., Lou and Charlie, from getting involved with the Bills.
- As previously reported, rock star Jon Bon Jovi, who has a strong connection to Larry Tanenbaum of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment (the owner of the NHL’s Maple Leafs and NBA’s Raptors), has interest in owning an NFL team and may make a play for the Bills.