No sooner had Noah Pransky suggested the legal potholes of a Tampa Port Authority-approved Jeff Vinik bid for Channelside Bay Plaza, did the losing party, Liberty Channelside LLC, file a motion in court claiming collusion. This, according to the reporting of Jamal Thalji:
Liberty is trying to scuttle Vinik’s winning bid while also proposing a new deal to the judge overseeing the Channelside auction: Liberty offered $10 million for the fading downtown Tampa mall.
Liberty will present its case to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi on July 15. The judge is handling the liquidation of Channelside’s owner, the Irish Bank Resolution Corp., and still has to approve Vinik’s winning bid.
Even before the auction started, Liberty indicated that it would challenge the result. Liberty attended the auction in New York but didn’t make a bid. It made the $10 million offer in Tuesday’s court filing.