Let the bidding begin: Potential buyers have access to Bills' financial books
Updated 6:40 PM , July 3, 2014
The Buffalo Bills sales process has taken a major step.
The Bills' financial advisers, Morgan Stanley, began granting online access to the team's detailed financial information, multiple sources have informed The Buffalo News.
Prospective bidders started receiving online access to the Bills' offering memorandum Wednesday. Part of the memorandum is an "indication of interest" document that must be returned to Morgan Stanley by July 29 to continue pursuit.
Terry Pegula and the man he bought the Buffalo Sabres from, Tom Golisano, each were believed to be among the possible buyers granted permission to review the Bills' numbers. So, too, was a Toronto-based group that includes Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment boss Larry Tanenbaum and rock star Jon Bon Jovi.
A spokesman for Donald Trump told me the billionaire developer was on the list.
"I can confirm that Mr. Trump received yesterday information contained in the virtual data room provided by Morgan Stanley for application to purchase the Buffalo Bills," said Michael Cohen, executive vice president and legal counsel for the Trump Organization.
A "virtual data room" requires a specialized password for prospective buyers who have signed a non-disclosure agreement. From there, they can examine the Bills' confidential finances (revenues, assets, liabilities, et al) used to determine how much to bid on the team.
The online presentation of an offering memorandum replaces what has been commonly referred to in this space as a "sales book," the same information, but in hard copy.