Photo of Carolina Panthers players at Bank of America Stadium.

Image Credit: Arnie Papp (CC BY 2.0)

The Carolina Panthers announced earlier this week that Appaloosa Management founder and hedge fund billionaire David Tepper has purchased the team at cost of $2.27B. The transaction surpasses billionaire Terry Pegula’s $1.4B acquisition of the Buffalo Bills in 2014. At the time, Pegula's purchase of the Buffalo Bills was a record sale price for the National Football League. Strangely, Sherman Financial founder and South Carolina native Ben Navarro's $2.6B bid for the Carolina Panthers was rejected. Perhaps because of David Tepper’s experience as a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2009?

Carolina Panthers owner and billionaire Jerry Richardson put the team up for sale last season following allegations of misconduct by former Panthers’ staff members. COO Tina Becker has been managing the Carolina Panthers’ daily operations following Richardson’s absence. NFL owners will still need to vote and grant approval of David Tepper’s acquisition of the Panthers when they meet next week in Atlanta, Georgia.

If approved, David Tepper will be forced to sell off his stake in the Pittsburgh Steelers; his hometown team. Tepper has an estimated net worth of $11B and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a master’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. His company Appaloosa Management specializes in distressed assets and was founded back in 1993 following his departure from Goldman Sachs. Rumors that David Tepper will eventually move the Carolina Panthers to a new city have already began to swirl but the likelihood seems very small.


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