David Tepper, the hedge fund billionaire who is the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, claims, according to a 2010 profile in New York Magazine, to have popularized the phrase "It is what it is". You have taken the Panthers into your hearts and made them part of this warm and supportive community.
"I am thrilled to have been selected to be the next owner of the Carolina Panthers".
Former owner Jerry Richardson announced in December that he would sell his principal stake after the team started investigating him for "workplace misconduct". "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. 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", Tepper said in a statement. Tepper, whose net worth has been projected by Forbes at $11 billion, was not the highest bidder for the team - The New York Times reported that Ben Navarro, who runs an investment firm, bid $2.6 billion - that went on the market at the end of the 2017 season.The sale price, though, is a record for an National Football League franchise and easily eclipses the $1.4 billion Terry and Kim Pegula paid for the Buffalo Bills just four years ago.
The release didn't mention if Tepper plans to move the team or keep it in Charlotte. "I wish David and his family the very best as they enter this exciting new phase of their lives". Richardson promised fans at the time the Panthers would win a Super Bowl "within 10 years".
The Carolina Panthers will have a new man in the owner's suite in 2018.
Tepper, 60, made his fortune as the founder of hedge fund Appaloosa Management, a company that holds almost $17B in assets.
Tepper will be the second owner in Panthers history, as Jerry Richardson founded the franchise and owned it since it began play in 1995.
Now Tepper is worth $11 billion, a big chunk of that from his bet on Bank of America stock. Tepper had been considered the favorite to land the team and was the preferred choice of many other owners because he has enough money to buy the team without other investors and because, as a minority stakeholder in his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, he has already been vetted by the NFL.