Bidders ready to jump after Clancy ends bid for Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Close the book on Tom Clancy. The novelist withdrew his $200 million bid for the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, and the same bidders who tried three months ago to buy the team were back in the lineup.
It was unclear whether they would get another shot — at least in the near future. Clancy’s financial adviser, Marc Ganis, was trying to put together a deal with other investors. And at least two of the Vikings’ 10 co-owners said the team may be better off waiting until the postseason to find a new owner.
That didn’t dissuade San Antonio businessman Red McCombs, who finished third among three bids received in February. He put himself back in the running and said this time he expects to win.
Also mentioned as possible bidders were Vikings co-owner Roger Headrick, Minnesota Twins owner Carl Pohlad, Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider and Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. Pohlad, Snider and Taylor did not return calls Wednesday.
“There’s several potential buyers and whether any of them could complete a transaction quickly enough … is a question mark,” said Vikings co-owner Jim Jundt.
The Vikings’ 10 owners did not have a contingency plan for failure of the Clancy deal. They planned to meet Friday via conference call to discuss their next move.
Whether NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue would allow the owners to wait remained in question. The Vikings’ owners decided to sell the team last summer when none of them could meet the NFL’s mandate of having one owner with a majority stake of at least 30 percent.
Headrick, the team’s president, put together a bid, but his offer of $180 million to $185 million finished second and aroused bad feelings between Headrick and the other nine owners. Headrick looked like a poor sport when he tried, and failed, to get the NFL to uphold his claim that he was denied the chance to match Clancy’s bid.
“I don’t want to sell the team to somebody that the fans hate,” Dyer said. “You generally build your public image over a sustained period of time. You can’t turn it on and off like an electric light. He would have to work at it.”
Headrick said that he would not offer another bid without secure financing.
The sale to Clancy started unraveling in public Monday when the best-selling author and Ganis skipped a meeting in Coral Gables, Fla., with the NFL’s finance committee. They had been scheduled to present their plan to buy the Vikings to the nine-member committee, a crucial step in gaining league acceptance.
As Ganis scrambled to find a substitute investor for Clancy, Vikings owners had a clear message for him: No deal.
“It’s not at his discretion to substitute whoever he’d like,” Jundt said.
Clancy had said he would be the 30 percent owner in his group, meaning he would invest at least $60 million. But he is going through a divorce, and questions about his ability to come up with a significant portion of that payment in cash threw the deal into disarray.