After over six months of work, negotiations and waiting...
...we have NO DEAL on the Duffy's acquisition.
It's been a long, strange business trip to say the least. Below are some of my web postings that I removed from my "news" page as they took up a ton of space. They more or less cover the spectrum of the issue, in order of my first "official" notification of our intentions back in March, up to the date that the deal was killed by the sellers. Happy reading...
(3/20/08) I promised in my prior site update to provide some truly newsworthy items - well, this is another tidbit of info that hasn't really been public, but yes, myself and a friend have been putting serious consideration into purchasing one of my long-time favorite watering holes in Palatine, formerly known as Splinters. The opportunity presented itself around the holidays, when it had become apparent that the two owners were not too happy working together. Long story short, the initial plan would be for the two of us to buy out one of the owners (half the bar), then within 6-12 months time potentially take over full ownership. If all goes well the initial buyout will happen within 30-60 days.
So as not to get too excited, it's probably important to note that this is far from a done deal - we still have several issues to deal with and other things to consider - but we have the green light to proceed so the "wheels are in motion" so to say. Also, this will not be my full-time career gig as I have other rather important business commitments, but it will certainly be an interesting way to help fill up the time. As a professional customer of the bar for oh, about nineteen years, I find this to potentially be a very exciting venture. More will be posted here as time goes on, and hopefully it will be good news.
(4/14/08)At the moment we're negotiating lease issues; if these are resolved to our satisfaction we'll likely be able to proceed with the acquisition. More soon!
(5/8/08) With the lease issue adequately resolved, we've been in the process of negotiating a fair sell price, though our number and the seller's number is a bit far apart at this time. Hopefully there will be some resolution within the next week.
(5/12/08) As of this past Saturday we've finished our negotiations and are anticipating an answer from the sellers within the next couple days. There is a pretty good chance that the deal will not happen with these people, but we could still end up being involved through the other owner. We'll know more soon.
(5/15/08) After several months of speculation and quite a bit of work, I am excited to announce the that as of the evening of May 14th all parties involved have come to an agreement on price to take 50% ownership in Duffys Sports Pub in Palatine. The actual transaction and transfer of ownership will happen in early June. My partner in this deal is Larry Rebodos (younger brother of Leon), and the initial planned management structure would have each of us as 1/4 owners. However, we are helping the other current owner plan his "exit strategy", so within 6-12 months Larry and I will more than likely take full ownership of the business. This is certainly a different business venture than our backgrounds would indicate, but we've both had an interest in this industry for a while, plus as me being a "professional customer" of Duffys and other similar establishments for a long time, I offer some solid insight from a client's perspective. The current owner (Bill Roscoe) has been quite successful in the bar/restaurant business for 30+ years and will be a tremendous asset, both as a business partner and a mentor. We're confident that we will be able to balance our current business activities with this venture, and we definitely look forward to some exciting times with the bar! More updates as the deal gets finalized.
(6/29/08) I announced over six weeks ago that we (Larry Rebodos and I) will be purchasing a 50% ownership stake in Duffys Sports Pub in Palatine. Since that time it has been an amazingly long process for us to get the proper paperwork from the sellers to get the transfer of ownership completed. However, our attorney has apparently finally received some of the necessary info, so we hope to move forward with it this week. Assuming there are no other snags, I'd anticipate mid-July as the latest target date for completion.
(7/12/08) As of this writing the attorneys have received and reviewed some of the closing paperwork, and many of the other legal agreements & data are being completed . . . quite a bit is involved, even in this type of simple stock purchase, if you want to get it done right! Right now we are looking at July 22nd as our deadline for getting the purchase done - a reasonable amount of time for everyone involved plus I get my class reunion work out of the way.
(7/28/08) We originally hoped to have the closing a week ago, but getting the agreement drafts completed through the attorneys is, ahem, a very slow process. Assuming we have the proper info in the next couple days, next week is a realistic possibility.
(8/4/08) We've finally received and reviewed the corporate agreement; pending some rewrites and approvals the dial may finally be done. It's been painfully slow but that was sort of expected since we want to be sure that everything is covered and correct. There's a chance it could be done by weeks end but odds are much better that it will be the second full week of August.
(8/15/08) As of this writing I'm somewhat pleased to report that pretty much everything in terms of the closing has been agreed upon, and we only await a rework of the corporate agreement to be better formatted and include a few missing items that have been approved. This will be completed by the middle of next week, and we've set a closing date for Friday, August 22nd. Just in time to get ready for football season! A "meet the new owners" party will be planned for shortly thereafter.
(8/22/08) So much for setting a confirmed date. Lack of completion of our corporate contract (surprise, an attorney delay) in tandem with a couple issues on the purchase agreement has delayed it yet again. However it seems like these issues should be solved somewhat quickly, and though at the moment there is no closing date set we're hoping to have it done by mid to end of this coming week. Stay tuned . . .
(8/30/08) Another week has come & gone in this soap opera of a business deal. First and foremost we seem to have representation that is painfully slow on getting stuff done, and it's probably best that I simply bite my tongue on my opinions regarding what comes from the sellers side. Additionally we have some current disagreements coming from the sellers side on issues such as non-competes and tax closing dates, the latter of which could cause extended delays to resolve. This could have been resolved a few weeks ago, but again I'll bite my tongue (ouch!) on that disappointment. In the meantime I have often enjoyed the brunt of some spirited and frustrating dialogue, much of which is justified but doesn't exactly help the situation. We thought for sure we'd have this wrapped up long before football season began, which would have given us time to gear up and do some positive improvements...unfortunately it appears the season will begin without us, and at the moment we have no good idea of a closing date. This has almost turned into a bad joke and I've started seriously wondering if it will ever happen.
(9/16/08 - FINAL main update) I announced in mid-May that we (Larry Rebodos and I) would be purchasing a 50% ownership stake in Duffy's Sports Pub in Palatine...with an option to buy out the entire place within a years time. Well, it appears Larry was right when he told me that announcement was a bit premature. Unfortunately, after many weeks of delays and additional issues to resolve, as of 9/16 the sellers dug in their heels and refused to negotiate further on the last remaining "sticking point", the non-compete clause. Details and general bitching need not be posted here, but suffice to say we made considerable and significant concessions across the board to try and get this done. Unfortunately a surprisingly odd amount of stubbornness on the other side ended up killing the deal. Truly a shame, but shit happens and life goes on. SO, does that mean it's completely over? Yes...well probably...guess it depends on if we'd still be interested if the opportunity would arise again. Would Larry and I consider pursuing other opportunities in this industry? Yes, but at the moment we are not looking at anything else...which is fine because frankly we have better & more profitable work to keep us quite busy. Anyway, you now have the full story. Unless something else positive happens - which is unlikely - I'm done posting on this subject for the time being.
(10/3/08) Just a brief update on the aftermath, and to no surprise there's really nothing new to report. The experience has left both Larry and I with a rather sour taste, so we've pretty much sworn off hanging out at Duffy's...sad as it's been a mainstay of mine for over nineteen years, but life goes on at other sports bars that happen to have better TVs and good specials. I've stayed in touch with Bill Roscoe as we've become friends over this ordeal, and there still may be some opportunity to work with him in the future. We'll see...
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