NFL’s Bills Retain Morgan Stanley, Proskauer to Advise on Sale

The Buffalo Bills retained Morgan Stanley to serve as their financial adviser in the sale of the National Football League team.

The club, whose owner, Ralph Wilson, died in March, also said it had retained Proskauer Rose as its legal adviser during the sale process.

The team will begin contacting prospective buyers within 30 days, the club said in a statement.

“We are pleased to have been able to assemble, as our transaction team, two experienced and talented firms in the specialized field of sports mergers and acquisitions,” Bills Chief Executive Officer Russ Brandon said in the statement.

The process will be designed to ensure that the club continues to comply with its obligations to New York State and Erie County as set forth in its Ralph Wilson Stadium lease, the club said in the statement.

As part of a $130 million stadium renovation, the Bills agreed with state and local officials to stay there for 10 years, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in December 2012. The Bills would have to pay $400 million if they break the lease, with an exception in the seventh year, when it drops to a $29 million penalty, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said at that time.

Wilson paid $25,000 to purchase the Buffalo franchise in the American Football League in 1959, and the Bills became part of the NFL when the leagues merged in 1970. Forbes magazine valued the Bills at $870 million in 2013.

At least two groups in Los Angeles are trying to bring one or two NFL teams to that city. The Buffalo News also reported that a pair of billionaires -- Terry Pegula, owner of the National Hockey League’s Buffalo Sabres, and former Sabres owner Thomas Golisano -- are potential buyers when the Bills come up for sale.

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