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Other bidders contest Tully's sale to Dempsey

Published January 10, 2013 12:07 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Seattle • A company that teamed up with Starbucks Corp. to bid for the Tully's Coffee chain filed an objection Wednesday challenging the winning offer made by "Grey's Anatomy" star Patrick Dempsey.

AgriNurture Inc. said it's still willing to proceed with its combined bid with Starbucks of about $10.6 million. The bid from Dempsey's company, Global Baristas LLC, was for $9.2 million.

The proposed sale goes before a bankruptcy judge in Seattle on Friday.

Starbucks has said it wants to convert some of Tully's cafes to its own brand. AgriNurture, based in the Philippines, would run the rest under the Tully's name.

Cliff Burrows, who heads Starbucks' Americas business, said he's confident the company put forth the best bid with its companion bidder to give shareholders the most value.

Dempsey said he's confident the court will decide that Global Baristas submitted "the highest and best bid."

AgriNurture, which also does business in the U.S. as Earthright Holdings Inc., already operates Tully's franchises in Asia.

Another bidder has also filed an objection to the sale, saying the rules changed in the middle of the auction.