Celebrities raise their hands to be the next owner of the Panthers
The Carolina Panthers said Tuesday that the team’s planned sale will be handled by a group of bankers and lawyers from New York and Charlotte.
On financial matters, the sale will be led by Steve Greenberg of the New York investment bank Allen & Company LLC, the team said in a statement. Joe Leccese – New York-based chairman of Proskauer Rose LLP – and Billy Moore – a Charlotte-based attorney with Moore & Van Allen – will handle legal matters.
“As previously stated, the process will not begin, and offers will not be entertained, until the last game is played,” the team statement read.
Allen & Company is a notoriously tight-lipped, privately held bank that has handled deals for high-profile clients such as Coca-Cola, News Corp., and Google according to reports.
Its former chairman Donald Keough, also a former Coca-Cola executive, was a minority owner of the Panthers until his death in 2015.
Billy Moore gained attention in 2013 for telling Charlotte City Council that it should act quickly to vote in favor of giving the Panthers $87.5 million for renovations at Bank of America Stadium. At the time, city attorney Bob Hagemann believed the team might be sold and moved if council members turned the team down.
Following an explosive Sports Illustrated report last month alleging workplace misconduct by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, the 81-year-old announced that he will sell the team at the end of the 2017 season.
Two days after the report was published, Richardson said he was stepping down from day-to-day management of the team, effective immediately.
The Panthers and Moore declined to comment further. Greenberg and Leccese could not immediately be reached.
The news release did not mention any role for Charlotte-based Bank of America, whose former CEO, Hugh McColl Jr., worked closely with Richardson to finance the construction of the team’s stadium, which opened in 1996. “I can tell you that without Bank of America there would be no Carolina Panthers,” Richardson said at a 2004 news conference when the bank agreed to a stadium naming rights deal with the Panthers.