The Carolina Panthers are looking for new ownership and bidding for the franchise reached a record $2.5 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Fanatics owner Michael Rubin, who is one of the candidates in the running to buy the franchise, is currently not willing to go that high although he is willing to go higher than his initial bid, according to a report from ESPN.
Sean “Diddy” Combs and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who were a part of Rubin’s group, were among potential minority partners with Rubin.
The Panthers are valued by Forbes at $2.3 billion and it’s still a wide open race as to who will end up winning the ownership bid for the Panthers. I would imagine some sports betting sites may eventually have some odds out.
The record for the sale of a professional sports franchise in the United States is the Houston Rockets, who were sold for $2.2 billion in 2017.
North Carolina, native James Goodnight, the co-founder and CEO of the software company SAS, has shown interest in purchasing the franchise although it is not clear if he has made of bid as of this writing.
Per ESPN, bids have been put in by Rubin; Bedrock Industries LP chairman and CEO Alan Kestenbaum; Charleston, South Carolina, billionaire Ben Navarro; and hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper.
Update as of April 9th, 2018.
According to the New York Times’ Ken Belson, Sherman Financial Group, represented by owner Ben Navarro, and Alan Kestenbaum, the chief executive of Bedrock industries, a company that owns and operates metal and mining companies, are among the bidders remaining to buy the Panthers.
According to Belson’s report, David Tepper, the minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers who was reportedly the favorite among the other owners to purchase the Panthers franchise, has backed out of the bidding process, leaving only Navarro and Kestenbaum left as those still in contention for ownership of the team.
Additionally, Navarro’s bid for the team was $2.6 billion, but it is unclear if other investors are getting involved to help pay that hefty price tag.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Tepper called several people recently to tell them personally that he was still in the process to purchasing the team.
The Panthers were put up for sale in December after a scandal, reported by Sports Illustrated, made light of workplace misconduct by team founder Jerry Richardson, prompting a league involved investigation into the matter.
Ex-Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson Fined $2.75 Million
The National Football League has announced a fine levied on former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson after finding allegations of workplace misconduct were substantiated.
Per the announcement, most of the funds from the fine will be used to support “organizations dedicated to addressing race and gender-based issues in and outside of the workplace.”
Richardson owned the Panthers from the time of their inception up until their sale earlier this year. The 81-year old announced his intention to sell the team following the scathing report from Sports Illustrated’s L. Jon Werthem and Viv Bernstein exposed sexual harassment and racism allegations against Richardson.
Panthers’ Torrey Smith Said NFL ‘dropped the ball’ With New Anthem Policy
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith is not a fan of the leagues new rule that requires players to either stand during the national anthem or stay in the locker room, saying that the league has “dropped the ball”.
Smith believes that the new policy could have a negative impact as he believes that it can lead to more problems and more protests.
“When you see reactive policy … I always think that’s a problem,” Smith said on Tuesday, according to ESPN. “Especially when the message has been changed and guys aren’t against the military and they’ve been protesting for what [Colin] Kaepernick originally started, against [police] brutality.
“It almost makes it seem like a guy like Kaepernick and Eric Reid and guys who started it originally, like what they did was in vain, like they were villains. That’s not the case.”
“You’re disappointed but not surprised,” Smith said. “At the end of the day, the league is about money, it’s a business. To try to silence those guys when they’re trying to do the right thing for our country, I don’t know what to say about it.
“It could stir things up, which is a problem. Because you’re stirring things up because you’re being told to be quiet, when it could have been done together to figure out what we can do to move forward and what would be best for the players.”
David Tepper Expected To Sign Purchase Deal For Panthers
Current Pittsburgh Steelers minority owner David Tepper is exepcted to to sign a purchase deal that will make him the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, a move that have been rumored for some time, according to ESPN’s Seth Wickersham and Adam Schefter.
The report indicates that the total sale price for the Panthers franchise will be $2.2 billion which will set a record for the highest sale price for an NFL team, surpassing the $1.4 billion pricetag that the Buffalo Bills were sold for back in 2014.
The deal would be expected to be approved at the owners meetings in Atlanta on May 22, and will need approval from the NFL financial committee and then three-fourths approval from the 32 owners to finalize.
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