It is time for a guest blog from our law clerk:
A company owned by Grey’s Anatomy star, Patrick Dempsey, aka Dr. McDreamy, won a bankruptcy auction to purchase Tully’s Coffee, a Seattle-based coffee chain. The chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2012. Dempsey pushed for the purchase of the company in order to keep an alternative to Starbucks and also to save over 500 jobs. There were a total of six companies bidding for ownership of Tully’s, including Starbucks Corp. Starbucks offered to buy Tully’s for $10.6 million. This bid was higher than Dempsey’s winning bid of 9.15 million.
Based on the fact that Dempsey’s lower bid was the winner, Starbucks and others are now pushing US Bankruptcy Judge, Karen Overstreet, to reject Dempsey’s bid. The companies claim that the actor unfairly charmed auctioneers to win without offering the highest bid (well, he is pretty dreamy). If Starbucks is successful in challenging Dempsey’s bid, it plans to convert Tully’s locations into Starbucks coffeehouses and add more than 700 locations throughout Washington.
According to Tully’s executive, Scott Pearson, this may be a key reason why Dempsey’s bid was the winning one. Despite his good looks, Dempsey’s offer may have won because of a conflict between Starbucks and Tully’s chief supplier, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Starbucks would not sell any Green Mountain coffee in its converted stores. Therefore, Green Mountain threatened to exercise its power to delay the bankruptcy sale if Starbucks was the successful bidder.
***Update…McDreamy wins! Judge Karen Overstreet ruled today, after a four hour bankruptcy hearing, that there was no fraud present in the bidding process. Dempsey is the successful bidder.