ALBANY – Rock star Jon Bon Jovi is one of the partners in a Toronto-based group interested in buying the Buffalo Bills.
Word of Bon Jovi’s interest, first reported Friday by the Associated Press and confirmed by The Buffalo News, has been floating around for months.
It is uncertain whether Bon Jovi and his Toronto financial allies – who include Larry Tanenbaum, the head of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization – have an interest in keeping the team in Buffalo or moving it to Toronto.
For months sources have said the Toronto group has been eyeing a potential stadium site near a racetrack on the outskirts of Toronto.
The trust that is running the sale of the Bills following the death earlier this year of longtime owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr. recently sent out confidential packages outlining the team’s financial picture.
Among those who have either confirmed interest or are believed to be interested are former Buffalo Sabres owner B. Thomas Golisano, developer Donald Trump, Syracuse mall developer Scott Congel and current Buffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula.
Sources with knowledge of how teams are sold said it is likely a host of investment banks acting on behalf of clients who wish to remain anonymous, for now, signed nondisclosure agreements to examine the initial round of documents the team sent out about its finances.
From here, as previously reported, would-be bidders have until the end of the month to send notices of interest to the team stating that they want to go to the next step in the process: meetings, likely trips to the stadium and the gathering of more specific information that the Bills might not have put in the initial financial reports.
Those reports, like what a real estate agent gives to potential buyers, are meant to put the team in the best possible light to prospective buyers.
Bon Jovi has expressed an interest before in being part of an NFL team ownership group. He also has helped Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo raise money for his re-election campaign.
A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed Bon Jovi has officially joined the Toronto group that has retained its own investment banking firm to represent its interests in the Bills sales talks.