Denver Broncos sale: Group led by Walmart inheritor Rob Walton agrees to purchase NFL franchise for $4.65 billion


Englewood, Colo. — The Waltons, heirs to the Walmart fortune and America’s richest household, have received the bidding to buy the Denver Broncos in the most costly deal for a sports activities franchise anyplace on the earth.

The Broncos introduced late Tuesday night time they’d entered right into a sale settlement with the Walton-Penner possession group led by Rob Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner.

Phrases of the sale weren’t disclosed, however a number of media experiences mentioned it was for $4.65 billion.

CBS Denver points out that a number of “sports activities bankers” told Forbes earlier this week that the bidding for the crew was at about $4.5 billion.

Broncos Sale Football
Then Walmart Chairman Rob Walton talking on the firm shareholders assembly in Fayetteville, Ark., on June 5, 2015. 

Danny Johnston / AP

The value tag far surpasses the $3.1 billion sale final month of Chelsea, one in every of European soccer’s blue ribbon groups, to an American-led consortium fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly.

Walton, 77, was chairman of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, from 1992-2015, when he retired. He is the eldest son of founder Sam Walton and Helen Walton.

Boehly reportedly was among the many traders with one of many 5 finalists who have been invited to make bids for the Broncos by Monday’s deadline.

The settlement for the Walmart-Penner group to purchase the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Belief should be accepted by the NFL, however that is thought of a formality.

According to, the New Jersey Nets attracted essentially the most cash ever paid for a sports activities franchise within the U.S. after they have been sold for $2.35 billion in August 2019. The $4.65 billion would even be greater than twice the worth of the most costly NFL team ever bought, in 2018, when David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers for $2.275 billion. provides that Walton would immediately turn into the NFL’s richest proprietor and have the next internet value than the NFL’s six richest homeowners mixed. Of the league’s present homeowners, Tepper has the highest, at $16.7 billion.

The Reuters information company notes Rob Walton’s internet value of $65 billion makes him the world’s Nineteenth-wealthiest individual, in keeping with Forbes. “The Walmart fortune is so huge that his siblings, Alice and Jim, are also among the many world’s 20 richest individuals on Forbes’ checklist of billionaires,” Reuters says.

What’s extra, Rob Walton can be the second member of the Walton household to personal an NFL crew, Reuters experiences. His cousin, Ann Walton Kroenke, is married to Los Angeles Rams proprietor Stan Kroenke.

Broncos crew president and CEO Joe Ellis mentioned in a press release that, “Whereas this buy and sale settlement is pending approval from the NFL’s finance committee and league possession, immediately marks a major step on the trail to an thrilling new chapter in Broncos historical past.”

“I’ve loved attending to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner all through this course of,” Ellis mentioned. “Studying extra about their background and imaginative and prescient for the Denver Broncos, I’m assured that their management and assist will assist this crew obtain nice issues on and off the sphere.”

Rob Walton mentioned in a press release, “We’re thrilled to be chosen to maneuver ahead with the acquisition of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg and I are impressed by the chance to steward this nice group in a vibrant neighborhood stuffed with alternative and passionate followers.

“Having lived and labored in Colorado, we have at all times admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has solely grown as we have realized extra concerning the crew, workers and Broncos Nation over the previous few months,” Walton added.

Walton mentioned Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and chairwoman of Starbucks, has agreed to hitch the possession group.

Hobson is Black. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made minority possession a degree of emphasis within the league.

“Mellody at present serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Company and can be a director of JPMorgan Chase. We all know she’s going to deliver her strategic acumen and management perspective to our crew,” Walton mentioned.

“We stay up for incomes the arrogance and assist of the NFL as we take the subsequent step on this course of. When the mandatory approval procedures are met, our household is worked up to share extra with Broncos followers, the group and the neighborhood.”

First-year coach Nathaniel Hackett demurred when requested Monday throughout offseason exercises if he is saved up with the sale course of.

“My job is to get the crew prepared and train programs and train them to return collectively as a crew and get them higher at soccer,” Hackett mentioned. “I do know that is clearly an enormous, big deal. However for us it is about profitable regardless of who’s going to personal the crew, so I am excited.”

After a primary spherical of bids, 5 finalists have been invited to tour the crew’s services and take a deeper dive into the franchise’s funds. Hackett mentioned he met with a lot of the billionaire bidders.

“After speaking with everyone, I feel all of them have an incredible ardour and wish to be a part of this league, and so they wish to be a part of a crew – and I feel that is one thing that is actually stunning,” Hackett mentioned.

“They wish to come to win, and so they wish to do one thing nice right here. And so wherever it’s, I feel we’ll be very grateful.”

The Pat Bowlen Belief has run the franchise for a number of years and final 12 months put the membership up on the market after Corridor of Famer Pat Bowlen’s youngsters could not concur on a successor to their father.

Bowlen died in 2019, a month shy of his induction into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame. 

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