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Staking a claim

Appaloosa’s Tepper wins bidding to own the NFL’s Carolina Panthers

David A. Tepper bought the team for $2.275 billion.

Hedge fund manager David A. Tepper is buying the Carolina Panthers for $2.275 billion in cash, the highest price paid to date for a National Football League franchise.

Mr. Tepper is president of Appaloosa LP, a distressed debt specialist hedge fund manager in Short Hills, N.J., with $18.3 billion under management.

"Listen, I'm thrilled about this. It's more than fantastic," Mr. Tepper said after NFL franchise owners unanimously approved his bid to buy the team during the league's May 22 meeting in Atlanta, according to a transcript of a post-meeting news conference.

Mr. Tepper's solo cash offer, as well as his experience as a minority owner of the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers, were factors in his winning bid for the Panthers, according to a story posted May 16 on NFL.com. NFL rules require that Mr. Tepper sell his 5% stake in the Steelers.

"I have learned a great deal about the community and the team over the past several months. … I promise to build upon the Panthers' success on the field and in the community," Mr. Tepper said in a news release from the Panthers.