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ProElite Deal Imminent? (Update – Strikeforce Back In The Running)

ProElite logoSo believes Sam Caplan. According to Five Oz. sources, ProElite has accepted a bid to sell the organization’s assets. If true, an announcement could be made as early as later today.

In recent hours has been informed by sources that ProElite, Inc. has accepted a bid to sell its assets to an outside company.

However, Five Ounces of Pain has been unable to verify the identity of that company. It is also unclear whether the company came close to receiving its asking price of $9 million. An announcement could be made by the end of business on Thursday, or possibly on Monday.

Several companies have submitted formal bids to ProElite in recent weeks, with the company believed to have set a Thursday deadline to decide on a buyer. Sources have indicated that if a bid was not accepted soon, ProElite would not have had enough money to continue operations and likely would have filed for bankruptcy.

According to the report, Mark Ecko Enterprises is not the leading candidate as previously reported by Instead, it appears Terry Trebilcock’s King of the Cage is believed to be company that will seal the deal. Several other buyers also made bids including Strikeforce and a group led by Jeremy Lappen, however, they’re both apparently out of the running. I think we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that Lappen’s bid was unsuccessful.

As mentioned before, the CBS contract appears to be what everyone is after, which is interesting considering the deal CBS is apparently offering. It’s not a lucrative contract by stretch of the imagination. In fact, unless the organization is successful at selling ad inventory, which it appeared they had a hard time doing on Oct. 4, the promotion would actually end up losing money. Here’s how it works according to the report. CBS will pay a $400,000 rights fee to the promotion, however, the promotion is required to cover the production costs which could approach $500,000. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that equals a loss. However, the promotion could recoup that loss by selling some of CBS’ ad inventory, and hopefully turn a profit. No word on if CBS/Showtime would still be able to purchase shares of the company, although I’m not sure they’d still want to considering how it worked out for them before.

Also worth noting is that Bloody Elbow’s Michael Rome reported last week that the fighter contracts are non-transferable, meaning the new owner would have to sign the fighters to new deals much like Zuffa had to do with the PRIDE fighters. It could be good for fighters like Gina Carano who’ve been getting paid a fraction of what they’re worth.

We’ll keep you posted.

[UPDATE 12/20/08 11:11AM ET] – Sam Caplan has an update on the possible ProElite sale. Apparently, there’s been a reshuffling of who’s in and who’s out. Terry Trebilcock, who was believed to be the highest bidder, is now out. Jeremy Lappen’s group may be back in. But the exciting news is that Strikeforce might not only be back in the running, but they may also be in the process of finalizing a deal with ProElite, however, that may just be another false rumor. Five Oz. has all the details.

Also worth noting is that there’s a lot of confusion over whether the contracts are transferable or not. As mentioned above, Bloody Elbow reported they were non-transferable, however, that may not be the case. It appears it’s something that may have to be determined in court if agents and managers choose to pursue it, although if a viable entity such as Strikeforce were to acquire ProElite’s assets, it’s believed many would not fight it.

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