David Tepper, president of Appaloosa Management LP, speaks at television interview during the Robin Hood investors conference in New York. (Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg)

Billionaire Tepper Said to Be Close to Deal for NFL's Panthers

(Bloomberg) -- Hedge fund titan David Tepper is close to an agreement to buy the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tepper, whose net worth is $10.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, could complete the transaction as early as next week, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

Billionaire Tepper Said to Be Close to Deal for NFL's Panthers

Sherman Financial Group LLC founder Ben Navarro and Alan Kestenbaum, a billionaire who made his fortune turning around metals and mining companies, have also made bids for the team.

According to Forbes, the Panthers are worth $2.3 billion, 21st among the league’s 32 teams. Navarro’s bid was higher than $2.5 billion, the person said, though Navarro was still seeking investors as recently as last week.

Any proposed sale would have to be approved by the other owners in the league, and Tepper would have to sell his minority share of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Neither Steve Greenberg, the Allen & Co. banker overseeing the sale process, nor Tepper spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter immediately returned emails seeking comment.

The team’s owner, Jerry Richardson, put the franchise up for sale amid allegations of sexual and racial harassment.

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