Walmart heir Rob Walton ‘favorite’ to win Denver Broncos ownership bid: report
A week ago, the New York Post reported that Walmart heir Rob Walton was preparing to submit an offer to buy the Denver Broncos.
The 77-year-old from Tulsa, Oklahoma is reportedly willing to submit an offer of more than $4 billion to acquire the team. Broncos reps are also rumored to have set the expectation of at least $3.75 billion as a floor to secure a seat at the extravagant bidding table.
Thusday, Westword reported that initial offers to buy the Broncos are expected to be submitted on Friday, April 15, and Walton is the early favorite to buy the team. Son of late Walmart Chairman Sam Walton, Rob’s cousin Ann is married to Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, whose son Josh is President of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche. NHL.
The buzz from Walton’s camp is that he is likely to submit a $4 billion bid to buy the three-time world champion franchise when the auction opens at the end of the week.
Walton’s wealth doesn’t stop at the $4 billion offer, because Forbes estimates his net worth to date at $70.4 billion, making him the 19th richest billionaire on the planet. If the offer is accepted or increases in value, the sale of the Broncos is poised to be the highest ever paid for a professional sports team.
When David Tepper and his company bought the Carolina Panthers in 2018, it was at a sale price of $2.2 billion. Four years later, financial experts already estimate the Broncos’ sales range to be between $4.5 billion and $5 billion.
Other potential bidders include Apollo Global Management’s Josh Harris, who has previous experience as a professional sports owner with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. Robert F. Smith, who is the richest African-American billionaire in the United States, is also in the conversation, although his recent problems with the IRS could complicate the review of the property.
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While Walton’s Walmart wealth is his biggest identifiable attribute to industry titans, he is relatively unknown to Broncos Country and the NFL. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas and a doctorate from Columbia Law School.
Walton went on to represent Walmart before joining the company as vice president in 1978. From there, he rose through the corporate ranks to vice president and two days after his father’s death, was named chairman of the board in 1992. He retired from Walmart in 2015 and handed over the reins to his son-in-law Greg Penner.
The rich businessman, retired for almost seven years, participates in several non-profit organizations such as Conservation International, whose goal is to create a sustainable and protected climate and nature. Walton is also an exotic automobile collector with a car collection estimated at $226 million.
By the time Friday’s bidding opens, there’s no doubt Walton has the resources to outbid virtually anyone else at the table, but time will tell if he really has the desire, as the reports indicate. Maybe the Walmart heir is on his way to becoming the new owner of the Broncos.
Money talks and you-know-what works. Walton can clearly hold court with his abundance of accumulated and inherited multi-generational wealth.
Follow Luke on Twitter @LukePattersonLP.
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