The Buffalo Bills are officially up for sale and prospective owners have until the end of business on Tuesday to declare their intentions to the team's hired legal and financial firms. The notable day of the sale process, July 29 marks the deadline for interested parties to submit their paperwork to the team to be a part of the bidding process, and also the next stage of the sale.
According to a source with knowledge of the situation, the interested persons or groups must submit a nonbinding bid to the trust with an idea of a purchase price. Those numbers are not locked in, however. The July 29 deadline is solely for indications of interest that are due, and to identify the key potential buyers.
To even get to this point in the sale, prospective owners had to sign an initial non-disclosure agreement. Once the nonbinding bids are in, the source said the trust will look to very quickly narrow down the list of prospective buyers to those that they believe are the most suitable potential new owners of the Bills.
After the serious candidates have been identified, over the course of the next month a vetting process will be performed by the trust’s financial firm — Morgan Stanley, and also by the National Football League as part of the sale process. The vetting process could be done in a fairly short amount of time, with a window of mid-to-late August being the target.
Once that has been completed and all the serious candidates have been vetted, according to the source, binding offers will be due on or around the start of September. From there the trust would move on to the next stage and come to a decision on who the winning party will be.
From that point, it would ultimately lead to the hopeful ratification of the new owner at one of the league’s upcoming owners meetings. The current hope by the Bills, the source said, is to have the winning bidder be put to a league vote at the meetings on October 7 and 8 in New York City. The person or group must be approved by 24 of 31 owners.
Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula, rocker Jon Bon Jovi (along with MLSE’s Larry Tanenbaum and Edward Rogers of Rogers Communication), former Sabres owner Tom Golisano and Donald Trump are the four most publicly known names linked to the sale of the team. It is likely that the Bills will receive other nonbinding bids by the end of the business day on Tuesday in addition to those four.