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Patrick Dempsey Outbids Starbucks for Seattle Coffee Chain

SEATTLE, WA (CNN) — “Grey’s Anatomy” star Patrick Dempsey thinks he’s just what the doctor ordered for a struggling Seattle-based coffee chain.

Dempsey said he won the bid to buy Tully’s Coffee, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. The company, citing “rising commodity prices and challenging lease economics,” said it planned to close a number of underperforming coffee shop locations as part of its reorganization.

Dempsey’s company, which said it beat out six other bidders, including Starbucks, will pay $9.15 million for Tully’s.

“It was a brand that needed to be preserved. There were 500 jobs at stake and it just felt right,” Dempsey told CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront” on Friday. “I’m really excited about this.”

Starbucks, however, cautioned that the final determination certifying the winning bid for Tully’s will not occur until a bankruptcy hearing next week.

The coffee giant made an offer for some of Tully’s assets, while another bidder made an offer for all other assets. The combined total of the Starbucks bid and the other “back-up bid” was $10.56 million, Starbucks said in a statement.

The bankruptcy filing did not affect Tully’s Coffee online sales and wholesale business, which were purchased in 2009 by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

The hunky Dempsey plays Derek Shepherd, nicknamed “McDreamy,” on the TV series. The medical drama is set is Seattle.

“After a celebratory cup of Joe, we will immediately begin the transition of the company and implementing our vision for quality customer service and building the Tully’s brand,” Dempsey said in a statement released Thursday. “I will be making Seattle my home away from home and spending a significant amount of time in the community.”

According to Dempsey, Tully’s Coffee operates 47 locations in Washington and California and has other franchises across the country.

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