NFL American football team the Carolina Panthers has engaged the Allen & Company investment bank to aid its search for new owners.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson last month placed the team up for sale after the 81-year-old was hit by allegations of misconduct.
Richardson’s announcement came after the NFL said it would assume responsibility for a previously announced internal investigation into the allegations of workplace misconduct.
The Sports Illustrated website reported at the time that at least four former Panthers employees had received ‘significant’ financial settlements due to inappropriate workplace comments and conduct by Richardson, including sexually suggestive language and behaviour, and on at least one occasion directing a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout. The settlements were said to have come attached with non-disclosure requirements forbidding the parties from discussing the details.
Richardson is a former NFL player and has been the majority owner of the Panthers since the team launched in Charlotte as an expansion franchise in 1995. The sale process is expected to begin following the conclusion of the Panthers’ season. The team opens its playoff campaign against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
The Panthers were valued at $2.075bn (€1.72bn) on Forbes’ annual list of the world’s most valuable sports teams in July 2017.
The Bloomberg news agency noted that Allen & Co. brokered the recent sale of NBA team the Brooklyn Nets. In October, Joseph Tsai, the executive vice-chairman of Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, agreed a deal to acquire a 49 per cent stake in the Nets, with a view to taking a controlling interest in the team.