CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers announced Wednesday morning that a definitive agreement has been signed to sell the team to Pittsburgh native David Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management, L.P. and a well-known philanthropist.
“Bringing the Panthers and the NFL to the Carolinas in 1993 was enormously fulfilling for Rosalind and me and all of our partners,” founder Jerry Richardson, said in a release. “We are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support over the last 25 years. You have taken the Panthers into your hearts and made them part of this warm and supportive community. We want to thank all of our past and present players, coaches and staff for their hard work in making the Panthers a great success both on the field and in the community. The personal relationships we have enjoyed have been very meaningful to us."
“I look forward to turning the stewardship of the Panthers over to David Tepper. I have enjoyed getting to know him in this process and am confident that he will provide the organization with great leadership in both its football and community initiatives. I wish David and his family the very best as they enter this exciting new phase of their lives.”
Tepper, a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2009, said in the release, “I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next owner of the Carolina Panthers. 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 25-year journey and I promise to build upon the Panthers’ success on the field and in the community.”
Subject to NFL approval, the transaction is expected to close in July 2018.
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WHO IS DAVID TEPPER?
Tepper was born and raised in Pittsburgh. A business profile says he has a photographic memory and a mind for math.
He earned degrees from the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, and then worked for Goldman Sachs. He made his fortune through his hedge fund Appaloosa Management, and famously bet big on a recovery after the markets crashed in 2009. His current net worth is an estimated $11 billion.
Tepper is also well known for his philanthropy. He donated $3 million over the year to help with hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and Texas.
When Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey coast in 2012, Tepper gave out 12,000 $100 gift cards to people in need in 20 different communities.
"This is a guy who has made a lot of money but has also given money back here in Pittsburgh and elsewhere. Philanthropy is a big part of what he does," said WPXI Sports Director Alby Oxenreiter.
Numerous reports say Tepper comes across as a very normal person who just happens to be a billionaire.
"The people that know him here in Pittsburgh will say he has a lot of money now, but he's an incredibly down-to-earth guy," said Oxenreiter.
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