The Margin: One of Wall Street’s most successful hedge-fund managers is about to buy the Carolina Panthers

0
161
views

Billionaire David Tepper, one of Wall Street’s top all-time hedge-fund managers, on Tuesday was poised to buy the Carolina Panthers for $2.2 billion in cash, according to reports.

The Charlotte Observer and other news outlets, citing sources close to the process, said the deal would be subject to a vote by owners when they gather for a regular NFL meeting next week in Atlanta. The $2.2 billion would top the previous record of $1.4 billion paid for the Buffalo Bills in 2014.

Tepper’s Appaloosa Management, founded in 1993, saw cumulative net gains from inception through the end of 2017 totaling $25.4 billion, according to LCH Investments, ranking it ninth on the all-time list. (Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Associates, with $119.9 billion in AUM, tops the all-time list with $49.7 billion in net gains since its inception in 1975). LCH estimated Appaloosa, with assets under management of $16.5 billion, saw net gains of $2 billion in 2017.

Archives: The rise of David Tepper

Tepper may be best known for the concentrated bets he made on the financial system during the 2007-2009 financial crisis, when he cited the backstop provided by the Federal Reserve as a reason to own beaten-down bank shares.

Tepper’s net worth was estimated at $11 billion by Forbes, ranking him as the world’s fifth-wealthiest hedge-fund manager. Tepper has also been an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump, prompting speculation the acquisition could heighten tensions between the league and the White House.

Sports Illustrated reported that Tepper, speaking at his alma mater, Carnegie Mellon University, last month told a business school student: “The economy’s really good right now, despite different things…Whether I like the person or not I’m not going to get into that—although I did call him a demented, narcissistic scumbag. And if you look up ‘demented, narcissistic scumbag,’ you’ll see my name calling Trump that. Just Google those three words.”

On the eve of the 2016 presidential election, Tepper, who is estimated to have given more than $70 million to New Jersey-based charities since 2008, slammed Trump, in an interview with CNBC for a lack of charitable giving. In the interview, Tepper said Trump “masquerades as an angel of light, but he is a father of lies.”

Trump last fall waded into the controversy surrounding player protests during the national anthem, urging NFL owners to cut players who knelt in protest of police brutality against people of color from team rosters.

News reports last week said Tepper was set to become the team’s new owner. The purported deal comes after a five-month search for a buyer after Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson announced he would sell the team following a Sports Illustrated article detailing allegations of sexual and racial misconduct. The NFL’s investigation of the allegations remains under way.

Tepper, who grew up in Pittsburgh, is a minority owner of the Steelers—a fact that means his finances have already been vetted by the league and that his bid could be quickly approved, the Associated Press noted. Tepper would be required under league rules to sell his 5% stake in the Steelers.