Jon Bon Jovi, group part ways

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

With bidding for the Buffalo Bills entering its final stages, rocker Jon Bon Jovi reportedly has parted ways with the Toronto-based group hoping to purchase the NFL franchise.

The New York Post reported the decision Friday night.

Multiple sources told the newspaper that the remaining members of the group -- Larry Tanenbaum, the chairman of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, and Edward Rogers, chairman of Rogers Communications -- actually believe they're in a stronger position to bid for the team with the New Jersey rocker out of the mix.

Their reasoning?

Sources told the Post that Bon Jovi, as head of the group, would have been the principal owner, meaning he would have to put up 30 percent of the purchase price under NFL rules. With his net worth estimated at around $300 million, the group's highest bid would have been capped at about $1.1 billion.

Meanwhile, Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula, who are considered the front-runners to buy the Bills, reportedly are willing to bid at least $1.2 billion for them -- more than the Bon Jovi-led group could have mustered.

The Pegulas have been valued by Forbes to have a net worth of $3.3 billion.

According to the Post, Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the sale on behalf of late owner Ralph Wilson's estate, is trying to help Bon Jovi find new backers.

Donald Trump also remains in the bidding, with final pitches due next week.

The Bills are for sale due to Wilson's death in March. A new owner is still expected to be identified by October, but it's not certain whether it will be in time to be approved by NFL owners at league meetings early that month. And that approval would come only after the prospective candidate's background and finances are vetted and approved by the league's finance committee.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.