Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Canadian steel company executive joins list of potential Carolina Panthers bidders

Michael Rubin group out as bidding for Panthers reportedly reaches $2.5 billion Michael Rubin group out as bidding for Panthers reportedly reaches $2.5 billion
Shannon Reynolds | 22 March, 2018, 01:41

The Carolina Panthers are on pace to become the most expensive franchise in US sports history, with bidding for the team climbing above $2.5 billion, Bloomberg News' Scott Soshnick reported Wednesday.

An investment group headed by billionaire Michael Rubin has dropped out of the bidding process for the Panthers as the price reached an estimated $2.5 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

If the sale goes through at $2.5 billion, it would also top the purchase record for any sports franchise in North America.

Multiple sources have told the Observer that a steel and mining industry executive has surfaced as the latest potential bidder for the Carolina Panthers, as the sales process heats up. As of 2018, the Dodgers ($2.15 billion) and Clippers ($2 billion) have fetched the most on the open market. In the most recent sale of an National Football League team, Terry and Kim Pegula bought the Buffalo Bills for $1.4 billion. The Dallas Cowboys are listed as the most valuable professional sports franchise at a worth of $4.8 billion.

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According to Soshnick, at least three people remain in the race: Bedrock Industries LP CEO Alan Kestenbaum, Appaloosa Management LP founder David Tepper and Sherman Financial Group CEO Ben Navarro. Rubin, however, won't meet the reported asking price.

Kestenbaum, whose interest in the team first was reported by the Charlotte Observer, is believed to have strong backing from Canadian businessman Jim Pattison, the source said.

Charlotte businessman Felix Sabates started a potential local ownership group, but may look at partnering with another bidder. Panthers superfan Stephen Curry and Sean "Diddy" Combs are set to be part of that team. The most likely scenario for that, ESPN.com first reported last month, is the May 21-23 meetings in Atlanta.

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