Actor Ryan Reynolds’ bid for the Ottawa Senators is not moving forward, multiple sources close to the process told ESPN.
The NHL declined to comment when reached by ESPN.
Reynolds was attached to a bid to acquire the NHL franchise, led by real estate developer Remington Group. The planned sale of the Senators — announced in November following the death of longtime owner Eugene Melnyk — has garnered plenty of interest and is shaping up to become a bidding war among celebrities.
Snoop Dogg announced he is part of a bid led by Los Angeles-based businessman Neko Sparks while The Weeknd is part of a bid by Toronto billionaires Jeffrey and Michael Kimel, according to the Ottawa Sun.
According to sources, Reynolds’ request for an exclusive window to complete the deal was denied, which led Reynolds to pull out of the process. The deadline for interested groups to submit final nonbinding offers is May 15.
A recent Forbes valuation put the Senators at $800 million. The Remington Group’s bid was believed to be worth more than $1 billion, according to sources.
In December, commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed the league had met with Reynolds about his interest in becoming an NHL owner.
“[Reynolds] very much impressed us,” Bettman said at the NHL’s board of governors meetings. “If we can figure out a way to have him included, I think that would be great for the Senators and great for the league. … He’s very smart, he has a number of businesses besides the acting business, and he understands sports and he understands promotion. I think he told us his followers on all of his platforms combined was well over 100 million.”
Reynolds, who grew up in Canada, confirmed his interest in an appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in November.
“I am trying to [buy the team]; it’s very expensive, so I need a partner with really deep pockets,” Reynolds told Fallon. “It’s called a consortium, when you form a group to buy an entity, and it’s such a fancy way of saying, ‘I need a sugar mommy or a sugar daddy,’ and if that doesn’t happen, I’ll buy a U.S. senator, which everyone can afford.”
Reynolds became the co-owner of a fifth-tier English soccer club, Wrexham AFC, alongside actor Rob McElhenney — an endeavor the two chronicled in a Hulu documentary that has catapulted into success both on and off the pitch for the club.
Last month, Wrexham secured promotion to the Football League after a 15-year absence.