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SEATTLE Actor Patrick Dempsey says via a tweet that it appears his bid to buy a small coffee chain has prevailed in a bankruptcy auction that included Starbucks Corp.

A bankruptcy judge will have the final say on Jan. 11.

Tully's Coffee has 47 company-owned locations in Washington and California. Tully's filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October.

After Thursday's auction, Starbucks spokesman Zack Hutson confirmed his company participated and is currently in a back-up position for some of Tully's assets.

Dempsey, who gained the nickname McDreamy on the TV show set in a fictional Seattle hospital, said last week that he wanted to rescue the chain. Dempsey and his group were among sevenbidders, including Starbucks, who bid for Tully's Thursday.

Also in the running is Baristas Coffee, which operates a chain of drive-thru espresso stands featuring female employees in skimpy outfits.

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