Hedge fund manager David Tepper to buy Panthers for record $2.2 billion
- Author: Ryan Wade May 17, 2018,
May 17, 2018, 1:52
Tepper, a hedge fund founder and now a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, is one of 109 billionaires who own the top 140 sports brands, according to a joint report released in October from money manager UBS and consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Richardson announced in December he was selling the team amid an National Football League investigation - still ongoing - into sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace following an explosive report by Sports Illustrated detailing the owner's alleged behaviour.
Tepper is founder and president of Appaloosa Management.
Forbes estimates that as of May 2018 Tepper is worth $11 billion, calling him "arguably the greatest hedge fund manager of his generation".
If his bid to buy Carolina is approved, Tepper will pay a record-setting $2.2 billion for the team. Because he holds a 5% stake in the Steelers, Tepper's finances have already been vetted by the league, meaning it wouldn't take much for NFL owners to approve the sale.
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The Panthers and Tepper did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Panthers founder Jerry Richardson had in December had announced his interest to sell the team. The Pittsburgh native bought into the Steelers in 2009, according to Fortune magazine. The price eclipses the $1.4 billion Terry Pegula paid for the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
Tepper's plans on whether the team will remain in Charlotte for the long-term future remain unclear.
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A noted philanthropist, Tepper told CNBC's Squawk Box the day before the presidential election that Trump "masquerades as an angel of light, but he is the father of lies".
In appearance at Carnegie Mellon University, the former Livingston resident called Trump a "scumbag" and "demented".
"The economy's really good right now, despite different things", Tepper told a business school student at Carnegie Mellon University last month, according to Sports Illustrated.
The proposed Panthers sale highlights an upward trajectory for the value of professional teams in major sports. I hope everyone in this organization, both on and off the field, will be firmly focused on just one mission: "to play and win the Super Bowl".
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