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Investors, Starbucks co-bidder oppose McDreamy's Tully's buy

Investors, Starbucks co-bidder oppose McDreamy's Tully's buy
Patrick Dempsey's bid for Tully's is being opposed by several other suitors. (Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times)

It's not just the "Grey's Anatomy" mid-season premiere Thursday night weighing on Patrick Dempsey's mind – the would-be coffee company owner is facing several objections to his pending purchase of Seattle's Tully's chain.

Last week, the actor known as McDreamy triumphantly announced that his group Global Baristas' $9.15-million bid for Tully's was deemed the winner by the bankrupt company.

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Several of the six other bidders, however, now say they won't go away without a tussle.

AgriNuture Inc., a food producer and distributor based in the Philippines, wrote in a Seattle bankruptcy court this week that it was willing to proceed with its bid.

The company's offer, when combined with Starbucks Corp.'s proposal to transition 25 Tully's shops to its own brand, amounts to $10.56 million – or $1.35 million more than Dempsey's.

AgriNuture, which runs six Tully's franchises in the Philippines, noted in the filing that it "understands that Starbucks is prepared to proceed."

Finance group Kachi Partners, which managed the stalking horse bid for Tully's from Neon T Coffee Shops, filed a separate document contesting Dempsey's purported victory.

The Jan. 3 auction for Tully's "had substantial irregularities and the purchase price, to the benefit of all the Debtor's constituents, could have been – and could still be – at least $1.4 million higher," wrote Kachi Partners spokesman Shawn Hallinan in the filing.

Investor Tom T. O'Keefe, who wrote in yet another filing that he owns more than 5% of Tully's common stock, said he supported "restarting of the competitive bids."

A Seattle bankruptcy judge is scheduled to make a final call Friday on the Tully's purchase.

"We remain confident that the Court will reach the right decision and find that Global Baristas, LLC submitted the highest and best bid," Dempsey said in a statement.  "The company chose between three final bids, and ours was millions more than each of the other two."

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