ENGLAND, Colo. – The Denver Broncos have announced a sale agreement with the Walton-Penner family-owned group late Tuesday night.
Sources told ESPN that the deal was worth $ 4.65 billion, confirming multiple reports. That’s a record price paid for a North American sports franchise.
Walton-Penner Group – led by Walmart successor Rob Walton; His daughter, Carrie Walton Penner; And her husband, Greg Penner – Melody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investment and board of Starbucks Corporation and directors at JPMorgan Chase.
“Today is an important step in the path to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history,” Broncos CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement.
The sale agreement is subject to review by the NFL’s Finance Committee and must be approved by a full vote of NFL owners. Twenty-four yes votes are required to approve the sale.
It is expected to take 60 to 90 days to approve the sale and close the deal; No problems are expected, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
“We are thrilled to be chosen to continue with the Denver Broncos purchase!” Walton said in a statement. “Carrie, Greg and I were inspired by the opportunity and the opportunity to lead this great organization in a vibrant community full of passionate fans. After living and working in Colorado, we have always admired the Broncos. Our passion is only growing in us. I have learned more. “
The Walton-Penner Group, according to multiple sources, was one of four groups to advance to a second round of bidding this week. Those bids are due to the trustees of the Pat Bowlen Trust by 5pm ET Monday. Forbes estimates Walton’s net worth at $ 59 billion.
The Broncos are one of the NFL’s most successful franchises in the Super Bowl era, with three Super Bowl wins during Pat Bowlen’s tenure, and he now owns a group of owners with some deep pockets.
The Carolina Panthers set a record for the NFL franchise when David Tepper bought the team in 2018 for $ 2.3 billion. Steven Cohen paid $ 2.475 billion to the North American sports franchise in 2020 to buy the New York Mets.
The group, led by Todd Bohli, is interested in the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Lakers’ vast portfolio, having recently bought Chelsea in the English Premier League for more than $ 5 billion.
Bowlen and his siblings originally paid $ 78 million in 1984 to control interest in the Broncos. Boulen later bought shares owned by his sister and two brothers. The team had more Super Bowl appearances (seven) than the losing seasons during their tenure.
Penner is expected to play a key role in the team’s daily operations, and Ellis said he is important because the team was formally put up for sale on Feb. 1, with new owners “appearing” in the community and the Broncos’ position in the Denver, Colorado state and region.
The deal ends an eight-year odyssey after Boulen, who in July 2014 was sidelined from the day-to-day operations of the team he had for 30 years due to the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen died in 2019.
Bowlen did not formally announce a successor to his children, and when he left the team’s day-to-day operations, his interest in the team (estimated at about 78% at the time) was placed in Ellis’s supervisory trust. , Broncos counsel Rich Slivka and Denver attorney Mary Kelly.
Later litigation, tough words and court dates between family members coincided with the current six-year series of playoff misses on the field. The team’s Super Bowl 50 win to close out the 2015 season is the last postseason game the Broncos have played.
Trustees and team officials have met all prospective bidders, who have toured the team’s facilities and its home stadium in recent weeks.
Broncos coach Nathaniel Hackett said on Monday he had met “a solid amount” of potential bidders and added: “After talking to everyone, they all have tremendous excitement and want to be part of this league. They want to be part of the team. I think it’s really beautiful. They want to do something big here, no matter who it is, I think we are very grateful.
Walton and Stan Kroenke are Walton’s cousins by marriage, with five of the six major professional sports franchises in Colorado. The Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth Lacrosse team, along with a regional media company in the state of Kroenke.