Carolina Panthers NFL team sold to minority owner of Steelers for $2.2B
The Carolina Panthers logo on the field at Bank of America Stadium. Hedge fund manager David Tepper has agreed to buy the Panthers from team founder Jerry Richardson for a record $2.2 billion.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers are off the market.
The Panthers announced Wednesday they’ve signed a “definitive agreement” to sell the pro football team to David Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management.
The deal is subject to NFL approval.
League owners will meet next week in Atlanta, where they are expected to vote on the purchase. Since Tepper has already been vetted by the league as a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the approval process is not expected to run into any snags.
The transaction is expected to close in July, the team announced.
Tepper, who has been a minority owner of the Steelers since 2009, said in a release Wednesday that he’s thrilled to become the next owner of the 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,” said Tepper, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh.
Tepper has a net worth of more than $11 billion, according to Forbes.
He is paying an NFL-record $2.2 billion to purchase the team, according to two people familiar with the situation. The people spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t release the selling price of the franchise.
Billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper mingles during a grand opening of rock star and philanthropist Jon Bon Jovi’s Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation Soul Kitchen and B.E.A.T. Center in Toms River, N.J. AP Photo/Mel Evans, File
The release didn’t mention if Tepper plans to move the team or keep it in Charlotte.
Jerry Richardson, the team’s founder and only owner, abruptly announced he was selling the team last December after coming under investigation from the league for sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. That investigation is ongoing.
Richardson has had a strong relationship with the Rooney family in Pittsburgh through the years and is familiar with Tepper.
Tepper will have full ownership of the team. He’ll need to sell his ownership stake in the Steelers once he becomes the Panthers owner.
Richardson had owned 48 percent of the franchise and the Panthers had several minority owners under the previous regime.
By STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer