The Carolina Panthers are off the market.
The Panthers announced Wednesday they have signed a “definitive agreement” to sell the team to David Tepper, the founder and president of global hedge fund Appaloosa Management.
The deal is subject to NFL approval.
League owners will meet next week in Atlanta, where they are expected to vote on the purchase. Since Tepper already has been vetted by the league as a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the approval process is not expected to run into any snags.
The transaction is expected to close in July, the team announced.
Tepper, who has been a minority owner of the Steelers since 2009, said Wednesday in a release that he's thrilled to become the next owner of the 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,” said Tepper, who was born and raised in Pittsburgh. “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.”
Tepper has a net worth of more than $11 billion, according to Forbes.
He is paying an NFL-record $2.2 billion to purchase the team, according to two people familiar with the situation. The people spoke to the Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team didn't release the selling price.
The release didn't mention if Tepper plans to move the team or keep it in Charlotte.
Jerry Richardson, the team's founder and only owner, abruptly announced he was selling the team last December after coming under investigation from the league for sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.
That investigation is ongoing.
Tepper will have full ownership of the team. He'll need to sell his stake in the Steelers once he becomes the Panthers owner.
Richardson had owned 48% of the franchise and the Panthers had several minority owners under the previous regime.
Tepper is expected to be more outspoken that the relatively reclusive Richardson, who hasn't granted an interview with the media in more than a decade.
Tepper once criticized President Trump before the election, calling him “demented, narcissistic and a scumbag.”