Five groups and/or individuals who submitted offers to buy the Denver Broncos advanced to the second round of the process, an industry source said Thursday.
These five groups began arriving in the Denver area this week for tours that will last 1-2 days. The date for the second round of bidding is undetermined but should take place next month.
The source, who said the Broncos have garnered more interest than initially expected, said a sale completed by the start of the regular season in September remains on track.
When the Broncos went up for sale on February 1, Chairman and CEO Joe Ellis announced that Allen & Co. and Prosakuer Rose LLP would serve as financial and legal advisors, respectively, in the search for a new owner. The companies reviewed several interested parties and identified 10 groups/individuals who were authorized to make a formal offer. From there, five offers were advanced to the next stage.
The five groups in the second round receive more information about the Broncos than in the first round and have access to meetings with senior executives, have the opportunity to ask questions of bankers, lawyers and team officials and to visit the facilities of the Broncos. in Englewood and Empower Field at Mile High in downtown Denver.
Allen & Co. officials oversee site visits.
Once the site visits have been completed, the five groups will submit firm offers. At this point, a winning group could be selected if their bid is far superior to that of the other four contestants. Or, the group of five could be reduced to two or three for a third round.
Asked if a sixth finalist could emerge at this point in the process, the source said someone new was unlikely, but a group whose bid didn’t make it to the second round could reappear with a higher offer to re-enter the process. .
The Broncos, put up for sale for the first time since Pat Bowlen bought the team in 1984, are expected to fetch a record price for an American sports team, at least $4 billion and potentially $4.5 billion. The current record for an NFL team is $2.275 billion for the Carolina Panthers.
Once a winning bid is selected for the Broncos, they must meet with the NFL Finance Committee. If the committee approves the bid, it moves to the entire ownership group and 24 teams must vote “yes” for approval.