The Carolina Panthers have been sold to billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper, the team announced. Tepper was approved unanimously by NFL owners at the league’s spring meetings on Tuesday in Atlanta.
The sale price will be $2.2 billion in cash, and $75 million deferred, as approved by the NFL finance committee, and won't be officially closed until July.
"Bringing the Panthers and the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 was enormously fulfilling for Rosalind and me and all of our partners," Panthers founder Jerry Richardson said. "We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years. You have taken the Panthers into your hearts and made them part of this warm and supportive community."
The purchase price would be a record for an NFL franchise, topping the $1.4 billion Terry Pegula paid for the Buffalo Bills in 2014.
"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," Tepper said. "I want to thank Jerry Richardson and the other Panthers partners for all they have done to establish and develop the NFL in the Carolinas. It has been a remarkable 25-year journey and I promise to build upon the Panthers’ success on the field and in the community.”
Tepper, 60, is also a Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner and founded the Miami Beach, Fla.–based global firm Appaloosa Management in the 1990's.
The Panthers went up for sale after SI reported on December 17 that Richardson and the team made multiple confidential payouts for workplace misconduct, including sexual harassment and use of a racial slur with a team scout.