Pan­thers the big cat af­ter buy­out

Sport360 - - Giro D’italia - By Staff Re­porter @Sport360 edi­to­rial@sport360.com

Bil­lion­aire hedge fund man­ager David Tep­per has reached an agree­ment to buy the Carolina Pan­thers for a re­ported $2.2 bil­lion, the high­est amount ever paid for an NFL fran­chise, the team an­nounced on Wed­nes­day.

The Pan­thers said in a state­ment that Tep­per, the founder and pres­i­dent of the Ap­paloosa Man­age­ment global hedge fund, had signed a de­fin­i­tive agree­ment to buy the team.

The deal will have to be ap­proved by NFL own­ers at a meet­ing in At­lanta next week, but the sale is ex­pected to be a for­mal­ity.

The re­ported $2.2 bil­lion sale price is $800 mil­lion more than the pre­vi­ous record fig­ure for an NFL team, the $1.4 bil­lion raised in the sale of the Buf­falo Bills in 2014.

The Pan­thers’ long-time owner Jerry Richard­son an­nounced last De­cem­ber he was sell­ing the team at the end of the sea­son in a bombshell an­nounce­ment that fol­lowed al­le­ga­tions of work­place mis­con­duct.

A Sports Il­lus­trated re­port said Richard­son had paid off at least four women over al­le­ga­tions which in­cluded claims of sex­ual ha­rass­ment and us­ing a racial slur.

Tep­per, 60, mean­while said he was look­ing for­ward to tak­ing over the Pan­thers, one of the strong­est sides in the National Foot­ball Con­fer­ence who reached the Su­per Bowl in 2016.

“I am thrilled to have been se­lected to be the next owner of the Carolina Pan­thers,” Tep­per said in a state­ment re­leased by the team.

“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.”

“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 25year jour­ney and I prom­ise to build upon the Pan­thers’ suc­cess on the field and in the com­mu­nity.”

Tep­per’s for­tune has been es­ti­mated by Forbes at $11 bil­lion, mean­ing he will be­come one of the wealth­i­est own­ers in the NFL once the sale is con­firmed.

Richard­son, a for­mer NFL wide re­ceiver, said: “I look for­ward to turn­ing the stew­ard­ship of the Pan­thers over to David Tep­per.”

Ty­coon: Tep­per sealed the deal.

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