Rob Walton has the winning bid to buy the Denver Broncos for $4.5 billion, according to Mike Ozanian of Forbes.
The sale, which is expected to be officially announced as early as this month, would be the largest of any sports franchise in history.
ESPN adam schefter reported that the process was underway and “no favorites have emerged yet.”
Walton, heir to the Walmart fortune, has an estimated net worth of $59.1 billion, per Forbes, making him the 22nd richest person in the world. The 77-year-old is the eldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton and served as the company’s chairman from 1992 to 2015.
His daughter, Carrie, and son-in-law, Greg Penner, would also join the ownership group.
The sale would shatter the NFL record set in 2018 when David Tepper bought the Carolina Panthers for $2.275 billion. A consortium led by Todd Boehly set a new world record last month by buying Premier League club Chelsea for $3.2 billion.
The Broncos were valued at $3.75 billion per Forbes last year, but an overbidding drove the price up.
9News’ Mike Klis previously reported the known candidates, including Philadelphia 76ers Governor Josh Harris:
Mike Klis @Mikeklis
Source: Round 2 offers to buy Broncos are expected by MONDAY. 4 groups should make offers:
1. Rob Walton-Greg Penner
2. Josh Harris
3. Jose E. Feliciano (with Behdad Eghbali and Todd Boehly)*
4. Matt Ishbia (with Justin).
Byron Allen is 5th group but considered a longshot. #9sports
This created a major increase over the $78 million Pat Bowlen spent on the franchise in 1984.
Following Bowlen’s death in 2019, a legal dispute among his children led to the sale of the team, which was announced by the Pat Bowlen Trust in February.
Rob Walton looks set to take over a franchise with a storied history and three Super Bowl titles, the most recent of the 2015 season.