Walmart Heir Rob Walton To Buy Denver Broncos For A Record-setting $4.6 Billion

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Heiress Rob Walton has won the NFL’s Denver Broncos franchise bid for $4.6 billion, the most expensive team sale for any sports franchise in history, according to Adam Schefter of the NFL. ESPN.

The Broncos announced late Tuesday the night they entered into a sale and purchase agreement with the Walton-Penner ownership group led by Rob Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner. The new ownership group also includes Mellody Hobson, who is co-CEO of Ariel Investments, chairman of the board of Starbucks Corp.
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Rob Walton will be the controlling owner of the Broncos, but Greg and Carrie Penner will run the day-to-day operations of the group, according to local Broncos Correspondent Mike Klis.

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According to Forbes estimates, the Walton family is the richest family in America and has a net worth more than double that of the second-richest family, the Kochs.

The agreement for the Walmart-Penner team to purchase a franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust, which currently owns the team, must be approved by the NFL, but that is only a formality.

“While this acquisition is pending approval by the NFL’s league ownership and finance committee, today marks an important step on the path to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history.” The group’s president and CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement.

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“I enjoyed getting to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner throughout this process,” Ellis said. “Learning more about their background and vision for the Denver Broncos, I am confident their leadership and support will help this team achieve great things on and off the field.”

Rob Walton said in a statement, “We are delighted to have been selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg, and I are inspired by the opportunity to manage this amazing organization in a vibrant community full of opportunities and passionate fans. ”

Walton, 77, was president of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, from 1992-2015. He is the eldest son of founders Sam Walton and Helen Walton and has an estimated net worth of $58 billion, according to Forbes.

The Broncos’ price surpasses last month’s $3.2 billion sale by Chelsea, one of Europe’s top football clubs, to an American-led group led by Todd Boehly, owner of Los Angeles Dodgers, and more than doubled the $2.275 billion David Tepper paid. for the Carolina Panthers in 2018, the most recent NFL team sale against the Broncos.

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Here are the five most expensive sports franchise sales in US history:

  1. $4.6 billion, Denver Broncos, to be sold to Walton-Penner corporation in 2022
  2. $2.4 billion, New York Mets, to be sold to Steve Cohen in 2020
  3. $2.35 billion, Brooklyn Nets, sold to Joe Tsai of Alibaba in 2019
  4. $2.275 billion, Carolina Panthers, sold to David Tepper in 2018
  5. $2.2 billion, Houston Rockets, sold to Tilman Fertitta in 2017
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Assuming the pending purchase is made, members of the Walton family will have a near-monopoly on sports franchises in Colorado. Stan Kroenke, owner of NBA’s Denver Nuggets, NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth lacrosse, is married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke. Kroenke himself is not affiliated with the sale of this Denver Broncos team in any way, as Kroenke also owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams and owners are not allowed to own more than one team in the same league.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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