Auckland businessman Paul Davys has abandoned plans to buy the Warriors NRL club after his bid was rejected by current owner Eric Watson.
Davys confirmed he would not be following through with plans to buy the Penrose-based franchise blaming a "confusing process" as the reason why the deal fell through.
His offer of $15 million was last night knocked back by Watson, who was holding out seeking $20 million for the club he has owned in part since 2000.
Both parties signed a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement and have been going through the due diligence process over the past fortnight.
Davys has expressed his frustration over the way negotiations were handled by Watson, saying he received mixed messages about whether his bid would be accepted.
"I have withdrawn my interest due to a confusing sale process," Davys said in a text message to the Herald.
"I was given every indication that my offer was accepted subject to me completing due diligence which is a normal process when an offer is accepted.
"This week, I find out that the sale is being handled more like a tender. I was advised this week that I needed to complete my due diligence then submit an offer for Eric to consider.
"This to me is back to front and time delaying.
"Regardless of whatever you read or hear, this is what has happened.
"Eric made it known to me last night that he was not happy with my offer which by the way was a good and fair offer that two weeks ago was accepted subject to due diligence which was to take place this week.
"From there my understanding was I needed to meet with the NRL which both Eric and [Warriors managing director] Jim [Doyle] had mentioned would not be an issue, I would meet with sponsors and give them confidence in the direction we had planned to take whilst also hearing their thoughts and basically agree on a date for the sale to go through.
"The fans are wanting to know what direction the club is taking and there is a lot of work to do in a short period of time to get the systems in place that I feel the club needs to be successful and with a sale process of uncertainty I feel it's best I move on and let everyone get on with life.
"To say I'm disappointed is an understatement considering my understanding of where we were at with negotiations and I genuinely believe in the difference I could have made to the club.
"I will make no further comment and wish the club all the best."
The Herald contacted Doyle for comment but he declined, saying all discussions around the club's potential sale remain private and confidential.
Watson remains in talks with several other interested buyers but confirmed in a statement last Friday that he was in no rush to offload the club.