Hedge fund manager David Tepper has agreed to buy the Panthers from team founder Jerry Richardson, two people familiar with the situation said Tuesday. If the deal goes through and is approved, David Tepper, who has a net worth of $11 billion, will become the second-richest owner in the National Football League, behind only Seattle's Paul Allen who has a net worth of $22 billion.
Forbes listed Tepper's net worth at $11.4 billion in February 2017.
Tepper bested a group of bidders that included Charleston-based financial advisor Ben Navarro, Fanatics owner Michael Ruben and Bedrock Industries Chairman Alan Kestenbaum. It will be voted on by the rest of the league owners at the meetings in late May.
Multiple reports say Tepper will pay $2.2 billion in cash for the Panthers franchise, surpassing the record $1.4 billion purchase of the Buffalo Bills in 2014. The NFL has since taken over the investigation of Richardson.
Tepper's bid wasn't the highest but it was $2.2 billion and that's close enough to the high bids of $2.5 billion that was floated around. Plus, Tepper can use the sale of his minority stake to help finance this deal, giving him another quick route to revenue.
Richardson has been the only majority of the Panthers.
Tepper, though, was long the preferred buyer from inside the NFL. The Steelers have won more Super Bowls than any other team and haven't had a losing season since 2003. It was then later announced that Richardson would sell the team in light of the allegations.