Sports

Fourth candidate emerges as initial bids for Panthers are in

Fourth candidate emerges as initial bids for Panthers are in

David Newton and Darren Rovell of ESPN.com report Rubin said he is willing to spend more for the team than what his initial bid was and he will remain interested at "the right price".

It looks like Steph Curry and Sean "Diddy" Combs won't be buying the Carolina Panthers after all.

A $2.5 billion price tag would potentially set a record for a USA professional sports franchise.

If the sale goes through at $2.5 billion, it would also top the purchase record for any sports franchise in North America. Bloomberg is reporting that billionaire Michael Rubin has "dropped out of the process" due to its rapidly escalating price tag.

Billionaire Jim Goodnight, CEO of Cary-based SAS Institute Inc., also could be interested in the team, Bloomberg reported.

Alan Kestenbaum is chairman and CEO of the private equity firm Bedrock Industries LP, which in June bought a 107-year-old Canadian steel company now called Stelco Holdings.

More news: Joshua tells Wilder to be 'realistic' in negotiations

However, sources close to the situation told ESPN that initial bids for the team now owned by Jerry Richardson have been put in by Rubin; Bedrock Industries LP chairman and CEO Alan Kestenbaum; Charleston, South Carolina, billionaire Ben Navarro; and hedge-fund billionaire David Tepper.

According to a bio on his company website, Kestenbaum has "extensive investing and operating experience in the natural resources sectors as well as a successful track record in turnarounds and restructurings".

Jerry Richardson, 81, announced in December he would sell the team after several allegations of workplace misconduct surfaced. Forbes estimated in September the franchise was worth $2.3 billion, which was up 11 percent from the year before.

After Richardson selects his choice for the winning bid, three-fourths of the 32 National Football League owners have to approve the sale.

If a new owner is selected later this month or early next month, the team owners could vote to approve the sale at their meeting in May.


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