CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Hedge fund manager and Steelers minority owner David Tepper is finalizing details to buy the Panthers for a record $2.2 billion cash, as NBC Charlotte first reported on Monday.
It’s the highest an NFL franchise has gone for, after the Buffalo Bills sold for $1.4 billion in 2014, and it ties the record price a sports franchise sold for when the Houston Rockets went for $2.2 billion.
But who is this Pittsburgh billionaire with enough money to buy the team in cash?
Tepper grew up in Pennsylvania as the youngest of three children. He attended Peabody High School in Pittsburgh.
He went to the University of Pittsburgh, but he didn’t grow up with the billions he has now. Reports say he helped pay his way through college by working at the Frick Fine Arts Library at the university.
He later attended Carnegie Mellon University’s Business School.
According to Forbes, Tepper is worth $11 billion, that money coming from his high-earning hedge funds with the company he started in 1993 called Appaloosa Management.
He’s generous with his wealth, too. Tepper donated $125 million to Carnegie Mellon University’s Business school, now called the Tepper School of Business. He’s also given multiple other donations, including a $1 million donation to the United Jewish communities.
Tepper is a father of three and grew up a sports fan. That led him to become a minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, a five-percent stake he’ll have to sell to become the second owner in Panthers franchise history.
Since he’s already a minority owner, he’s been vetted by the league and would likely be voted on by the owners at the Spring League meetings in Atlanta May 21-23. Tepper would need three-fourths of the owners vote to make it official.