The Carolina Panthers are reported to have confirmed a deal to sell their franchise to hedge fund billionaire David Tepper. The Panthers signed a definitive agreement yesterday (May 16), which was announced via their official website.
When founder Jerry Richardson revealed that he would be selling the franchise back in December, the Panthers knew that there would be some huge offers coming their way. Valued at $1 billion in 2012, the franchise was considered to be the 23rd most valuable sports team in the world. It’s safe to assume that the Panthers will climb significantly higher up the list come July, when David Tepper’s $2.3 billion deal goes through.
Tepper said in an official announcement: “I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next owner of the Carolina Panthers. I have learned a great deal about the community and the team over the past several months and look forward to becoming part of the Carolinas.”
As well as being president of hedge fund Appaloosa Management LP, Tepper also has ties with AFC team Pittsburgh Steelers, purchasing a 5% minority stake in the franchise back in 2009. The 60-year-old is thought be be worth in the region of $11 billion; however, according to the New York Times, Tepper was not the Panthers’ highest bidder. Earlier this week, the Times reported that investor Ben Navarro offered $2.6 billion for the Panthers, when the franchise first went on the market in late 2017. Why Jerry Richardson opted to side with Tepper remains unclear.
Richardson said of Tepper: “I look forward to turning the stewardship of the Panthers over to David Tepper.
“I have enjoyed getting to know him in this process and am confident that he will provide the organisation with great leadership in both its football and community initiatives.
“I wish David and his family the very best as they enter this exciting new phase of their lives.”