David Tepper named new owner of Carolina Panthers

It’s Official

The Carolina Panthers officially announced on Wednesday morning the agreement to sell the team to billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper.

Forbes ranked the team 21st out of the NFL's 32 teams with a value of $2.3 billion. The purchase has to get the approval from the National Football League financial committee and then three-fourths approval from the 32 team owners. A former player himself, Richardson was the founding owner of the franchise, which began play in 1995.

The deal comes five months after Richardson announced plans to sell the team on December 17, the same day Sports Illustrated published a report detailing allegations of sexual and racial misconduct against him. Shortly after putting the team on the market, Richardson ceded day-to-day control of the team to chief operating officer Tina Becker.It is unclear if Becker, who has not spoken to reporters since, will have a role with the team after Tepper takes over.

According to NYT, Tepper actually offered several hundred million less than the highest bidder, but in dire need of a leader with strong integrity, the Panthers went well below the asking price to get the best man for the job.

The transaction is expected to close in July, the Panthers said.

The SI report said Richardson, 81, allegedly touched female employees and directed inappropriate comments toward them, including asking them if he could shave their legs and if they could could massage his feet. The team is also located in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is a decent East Coast market, and quarterback Cam Newton is one of the most marketable stars in the NFL.

Tepper Statement
It's official: David Tepper named new owner of Carolina Panthers

SI's article claimed the team paid off at least four former staffers in settlements.

Richardson founded the Panthers in 1993 - two years before its inaugural season - as the NFL's 29th franchise.

"We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years", Richardson said.

Now Tepper is worth $11 billion, a big chunk of that from his bet on Bank of America stock. "The personal relationships we have enjoyed have been very meaningful to us", Richardson said in a statement.

Because he holds a 5 percent stake in the Steelers, Tepper's finances already have been vetted by the league, meaning it wouldn't take much for NFL owners to approve the sale.

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