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The owner and proprietor of the Appaloosa Management hedge fund firm is said to be the "greatest hedge fund manager of his generation" - the Miami-based firm manages $17 billion worth of capital, although Tepper once described himself as a "regular upper-middle class guy who happens to be a billionaire".

Forbes listed Tepper's net worth at $11.4 billion in February 2017.

ESPN reported the sale would be for $2.2 billion, tying a record price for a sports team.

Because he holds a 5 percent stake in the Steelers, Tepper's finances already have been vetted by the league, meaning it wouldn't take much for NFL owners to approve the sale.

At this point, all Tepper needs to do is selling his minority share in the Steelers and pass a vote by ownership to be allowed to finish the purchase.

The hedge fund manager and the Panthers did not immediately return calls for comment.

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However, the record National Football League deal, as reported by news agency Associated Press, still falls short of the Ten Most Expensive Professional Sports Teams in the Forbes' list for 2017. The Buffalo Bills were purchased by Terry and Kim Pegula from the Ralph Wilson estate for $1.4 billion in 2014.

Richardson has had a strong relationship with the Rooney family in Pittsburgh through the years and is familiar with Tepper. Richardson's investment group paid $206 million for the club, according to Forbes, after he was unanimously awarded a team by the league's owners on October 26, 1993.

Sports Illustrated reported accusations of sexual harassment, including inappropriate touching by more than one woman and a racial slur made to a team scout.

Tepper's plans on whether the team will remain in Charlotte for the long-term future remain unclear.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon, where he earned his MBA in 1982, Tepper has been an alumni office's dream, donating over $125 million, including a $67 million donation in 2013, which resulted in the university naming its business school after him.

Richardson has been the only majority of the Panthers. Recently, when the owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers indicated they were willing to sell a stake in the team, he seized the opportunity with childlike enthusiasm. And the new owners will try to get the Panthers back to the Super Bowl for their first ever championship ring.


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