Rob Walton, whose father founded Walmart, will win the bid to buy the Denver Broncos at a record price of about $4.5 billion, Forbes reported Monday.
It would be the highest price paid for an American sports franchise, topping the $3.2 paid for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets in 2019. Forbes said the deal could be announced this month.
Second-round bids from interested parties are due Monday afternoon. ESPN countered the Forbes report, saying a winning bid hasn’t been selected.
Forbes identified other bidders as Josh Harris, who is part of the ownership group of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils; Jose E. Feliciano, one of the founders of Clearlake Capital; and mortgage lender Mat Ishbia.
Walton, 77, has a net worth of $65 billion and is the 19th-richest person in the world, per Forbes. The Walmart fortune is so vast that his siblings, Alice and Jim, also are among the world’s 20 richest people on Forbes’ list of billionaires.
Combined, the net worth of Harris ($5.7 billion), Feliciano ($3.4 billion) and Ishbia ($4.9 billion) is $14 billion by Forbes’ estimates.
Walton’s proposed ownership team also includes his daughter, Carrie, and her husband, Greg Penner.
Forbes valued the Broncos at $3.75 billion in 2021, estimating it at No. 10 on the list of franchise valuation.
If the Walton sale goes through, Jim Walton would become the second NFL owner from the extended Walton family. Ann Walton Kroenke, who is Jim Walton’s cousin, is married to Stan Kroenke, owner of the Los Angeles Rams.
–Field Level Media