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Bills on verge of naming financial, legal firms that will handle team's sale

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ATLANTA -- Buffalo Bills suitors will be able to make bids to buy the team rather soon.

Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon today gave some updates on the sale process while taking a break from the NFL's annual spring meeting at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead.

The Bills are close to naming the investment bank and legal firm that will handle the sale and make a recommendation to the trust that has been overseeing the club since Ralph Wilson's death in March.

"By the end of the month," Brandon said of selecting the bank. He later added it could happen within the next few days.

"We are closing in on it," Brandon said.

Until the investment bank and legal firm are finalized, Brandon has been the point man for all interested parties to communicate with.

"The interest, from my point of view, is high," Brandon said of potential buyers. "We will go through that process with the investment bank and transaction counsel when that's secured.

"There's been a lot of support and interest. But that's really the job of the investment bank, to vet those candidates and to see who's viable and who is not."

The Bills are represented at the NFL spring meeting by Brandon, executive vice president of strategic planning Mary Owen and CFO Jeffrey Littmann.

  • Frank Buxton

    It'll be Dewey, Cheatom and Howe.

    • Please, Say it ain’t so!

      Got that right!!! BOHICA,

  • benfranklin

    If Brandon has been the 'point man', makes the Golisano dinner at Sinatra's a little more interesting. I get that a few locals can come up with the cash, just wondering how far they'll go to match a higher bid from a bigger city. Can those making the decision legally accept a lower bid? Would they?

    • Jonnno

      Assuming the bid is legitimate and the bidder(s) have been approved by the bank and legal firm chosen by the team, the trust is obligated to accept the highest bid. Emotion and sentiment will not be a factor in who gets the team.

      • Jester

        well said

      • Fennario

        The legal firm is obliged to follow the dictates of Ralph's will. If Ralph left instructions to give preferential treatment to a buyer that is committed to keeping the team in Buffalo then they would be allowed to accept a lower offer in keeping with his wishes.

  • Sean Danvers

    Adios Williams'

  • Ridgewaycynic2013

    They're not putting the team on eBay?...I was prepared to bid 'one MILLION dollars'.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l91ISfcuzDw

  • Rich

    A rich corpse is a lawyers wet dream.

  • Tee Zee

    Maybe the family of the guy who was attacked at Molly's can buy the team. By time they win the lawsuit against the City for the off duty cops abusing their authority and contributing to the horrific assault, the $1billion they get could get them team.

    • Ralph Wiggum

      I think the lawyers who represent the family will probably be able to buy the team since they will be the ones who profit the most.

  • Dan R

    The average Bills fan doesn't give a cr@p who the investment or legal firm will be. All they want to know is will the high bidder keep the team in Buffalo. Lot's of comments lately from media seem to indicate that whoever the buyer is will likely be committed to keeping the team here. That's some great news for now.

    • Please, Say it ain’t so!

      And the average, intelligent Erie County taxpayer doesn't give a cr@p who buy them either, as long as they promise to move them outta here.

      • Molson Cree

        My wife and I have no children, yet we pony up every year for the school tax. We're not thrilled about it, but it comes with the territory. Just like those of us that aren't fans of the football team having to pony up their tax money as well. No one said life was fair... MOVE elsewhere if you don't like it. It's just that simple.

        • Kerhs

          "No one said life was fair..."

          Yep so looks like you might have to deal with following the L.A. Bills when they relocate. Unless you don't like your own logic being used in ways that are against your biases. ; )

  • PaulR

    So does this mean the Wilsons' WON'T be selling the team to the public, ala Green Bay?

    Now that would have been a Ralph Wilson legacy worthy of respect. Anything else is just rich people changing money.

    • Jonnno

      League rules prohibit the sale of an NFL team to the public or a community. Green Bay was grandfathered in but they will be the only one.

    • Jester

      Selling the team to the public would mean that is a public company and the NFL would have to open it's books for examination like any other public owned company, and that is never going to happen.

    • Kerhs

      Remember this. When people say Ralph Wilson Stadium is impossible to update......Lambeau Field is older.

      Do not fall for the "We can't update the Ralph." lies.

      • jwdundee

        Don't buy the "small market" hype either. Green Bay is also a smaller market.

        • Paul

          Green Bay has the entire state of Wisconsin supporting the team.

          • jwdundee

            And the NFL lists it as the smallest market. Wasn't making it up.

          • Paul

            I didn't think you were. Don't be so paranoid. I was simply pointing out that Green Bay has the entire state of Wisconsin supporting the team. Apparently it wasn't put as simply as you needed it.

        • Kerhs

          Another thing I'd like to add.

          Adjusted for inflation.

          Gillette Stadium's cost of construction.
          $426 million in 2014

          If a new stadium is needed why didn't Goodell, my nomination for 2014 inconsiderate jerk of the year, tell the state of New York this before we pumped 130 million dollars into the Ralph.

          I'm not anti new stadium but I am 100% damn against a new stadium costing a billion when it shouldn't be anywhere near that.

          Plus I repeat. The Ralph could be New York's Lambeau Field. Lets just update it.

    • SergeantBuzzkill

      "So does this mean the Wilsons' WON'T be selling the team to the public, ala Green Bay?"

      For the millionth time this has been pointed out, the NFL league bylaws now absolutely forbid that type of ownership for all teams except Green Bay. It isn't a possible option for any team except the Packers who were grandfathered for this. Since the Bills aren't the Packers, the NFL won't allow it. It's been disallowed for many decades now. It shouldn't be a news flash.

      "Anything else is just rich people changing money."

      Of course, and that's true for anything with a multi-million dollar value. So what?

  • Dominic Mazella

    Sounds also like the News is on the verge of having some actual news to report...

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Vic Carucci returned to The Buffalo News as a Bills beat reporter in September. Carucci covered the Bills for 17 years before joining NFL.com as a columnist in 1999. Prior to rejoining The News, he spent three years as a senior editor for the Cleveland Browns.

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida.