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Patrick Dempsey's auction bid on Tully's coffee chain appears successful

HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Actor Patrick Dempsey attends IRIS, A Journey Through the World of Cinema by Cirque du Soleil premiere Sunday, September 25, 2011 exclusively at Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Cirque du Soleil)
Jason Merritt

Actor Patrick Dempsey said it appears his bid to buy a small coffee chain has prevailed in a bankruptcy auction.

Late Thursday night, Dempsey announced that his company, Global Baristas LLC, made the winning bid for Tully's Coffee. His bid beat out Starbucks Corp, which was also present at the auction. He noted in a KOMO-TV interview that a bankruptcy judge will have the final say on Jan. 11. Still, Dempsey took to Twitter to celebrate.

Dempsey's company will pay $9,150,000 for Tully's and complete the purchase later this month after the court hearing, he said in a statement.

"I'm thrilled that we won and I'm even more excited about saving Tully's Coffee and its hundreds of jobs," he said. "Tully's is a great company with committed employees, and with its base in Seattle, one of the world's greatest cities, I'm confident we will be able to successfully build the brand and help grow the economy. "

Tully's Coffee has 47 company-owned locations in Washington and California. The company, with more than 500 employees, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.

Dempsey, who gained the nickname "McDreamy" on the TV show "Grey's Anatomy" set in a fictional Seattle hospital, has said he wants to rescue the chain.

"Seattle has been very good to me over my career, and I am honored to have the privilege to own Tully's and work closely with the company's employees," he said in his statement.

The Starbucks spokesman said his company made an offer for 13 of Tully's company-owned stores in the Puget Sound region plus 12 outlets at Boeing Co. sites. Hutson said another bidder made an offer for all other assets - and is in a back-up position for those.

The auction process was not public.