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Report: Sens sale down to 2 serious bidders after Apostolopoulos withdraws

Andre Ringuette / National Hockey League / Getty

Once the favorite to purchase the Ottawa Senators, Toronto billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos has bowed out of the bidding process, reports Postmedia's Bruce Garrioch.

Apostolopoulos reportedly submitted the most lucrative bid for the team at over $1 billion. He's the second bidder to withdraw from the process out of frustration stemming from lengthy negotiations with the estate of Eugene Melnyk and Galatioto Sports Partners, which is facilitating the sale.

GSP could try to draw Apostolopoulos back into the process, but such a move would be highly doubtful, Garrioch added.

Actor Ryan Reynolds and the Remington Group were once viewed as possible favorites, but they reportedly withdrew in May after the estate and GSP declined to grant them a window to finalize a deal.

Jeffrey and Michael Kimel of Harlo Capital and Toronto businessman Michael Andlauer are reportedly the two remaining front-runners to purchase the franchise. Neither party has submitted a bid for $1 billion.

Andlauer, who's a part owner of the Montreal Canadiens, is in talks to add new investors to bring in more money to help raise his bid, Garrioch reports.

The Kimels, meanwhile, are joined by Canadian singer Abel Tesfaye - best known by his stage name The Weeknd.

Los Angeles-based producer Neko Sparks, who's teamed up with rapper Snoop Dogg, remains in the running, but sources told Garrioch that their bid is underfunded and doesn't stand much chance of winning.

Toronto billionaire Jamie Salter submitted a new figure to GSP over the weekend, Garrioch adds. May 15 was reportedly set as the deadline for binding bids.

Report: Sens sale down to 2 serious bidders after Apostolopoulos withdraws
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