Jerry Richardson has reached an agreement to sell the Carolina Panthers franchise to Pittsburgh Steelers’ minority owner David Tepper, per Ian Rapoport. Tepper is expected to buy the franchise for a total of $2.2 billion and the deal would need to be approved by the NFL financial committee and two-thirds of the league’s owners next week during the NFL’s spring league meeting. This deal comes six months after Richardson put the team up for sale amidst allegations of workplace misconduct.
Soon-to-be #Panthers owner David Tepper will purchase the team for $2.2B cash and a total price of between $2.2B and $2.3B (some money is deferred). He is committed to keeping the team in Charlotte… whereas at least one finalist had eyes on a stadium in South Carolina.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 15, 2018
Jerry Richardson to Sell Carolina Panthers Franchise to David Tepper
Last December, Sports Illustrated reported that Richardson had paid out settlements to a handful of Panthers employees due to workplace misconduct. It was reported that the 81-year-old Richardson made inappropriate comments including sexually suggestive language to female employees and a racial slur directed towards an African-American employee. The NFL announced it was taking over the team’s internal investigation and shortly after, Richardson released a statement on the Panthers’ website declaring that he would put the team up for sale at the season’s end.
When the Panthers’ season finally came to an end, there were several individuals and groups that emerged all having interest in purchasing the team. Individuals such as rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, NBA superstar Stephen Curry and NASCAR driver Jimmy Johnson all had interest in becoming a minority owner of the franchise. However, in the middle of February, Tepper emerged as the front-runner candidate.
Tepper is the founder of the global hedge fund firm Appaloosa Management and owns 5 percent of the Steelers. According to Forbes, Tepper’s net worth is $11 billion, while the Panthers franchise is valued at $2.3 billion. In order for Tepper to become majority owner of the Panthers, he would need to sell his stake in the Steelers beforehand.
It has been reported that Tepper plans on keeping the franchise in Charlotte, in comparison to other candidates that proposed a move to South Carolina. Tepper does have plans to renovate Bank of America stadium and plans to stick with the same general manager (Marty Hurney) and head coach (Ron Rivera), who both are under contract through 2020.
If the NFL and two-thirds of the league’s owners approve of this deal next week in Atlanta, Tepper will become the second owner of the Panthers franchise. Richardson founded the team in 1995 and has been the majority owner ever since.