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The Walton-Penner group have entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the Denver Broncos

We have new owners! Welcome our new Walmart overlords.

According to the Denver Broncos, they have entered into a purchase and sale agreement with the Walton-Penner group to acquire the Denver Broncos franchise.

We have new owners.

According to 9NEWS Denver’s Mike Klis, the sale price for the Denver Broncos came in at a whopping $4,65 billion. This is a record-setting sale that was previously held by the Carolina Panthers who were sold for $2.2 billion back in 2018. Now, four years later, the Denver Broncos were sold for $2+ billion more.

The Walton-Penner group outbid the three other bidding groups that were led by Josh Harris, Jose E. Felciano, and Mat Ishbia. The Walton-Penner group showed how much they wanted the Broncos by upping their bid to $4.65 billion. The original projection for the team was closer to $4 or $4.5 billion.

Rob Walton is the eldest son of Walmart founder Sam Walton and the heir to the Walmart fortune. He served as the Chairman until 2015 when his son-in-law Greg Penner, who partnered with Walton in this sale, took over that role. Now both men will be the owners of the Denver Broncos, pending the NFL owners signing off on this sale, which is expected.

What will greatly help the sale approval here is Walton’s family ties to Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke. His wife is the cousin of Rob Walton, so that family connection between billionaires should help the Walton-Penner group be welcomed into the ownership fraternity with open arms.

Here is what President and CEO of the Denver Broncos Joe Ellis had to say about this historic sale:

“I have enjoyed getting to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner throughout this process. Learning more about their background and vision for the Denver Broncos, I am confident that their leadership and support will help this team achieve great things on and off the field.

I sincerely appreciate the cooperation of our football leadership, executive team and staffs at both UCHealth Training Center and Empower Field at Mile High over the last few months and years. We also want to recognize the work of Allen & Company and Proskauer Rose, which have guided us through this process in a timely and efficient manner.

While this purchase and sale agreement is pending approval from the NFL’s finance committee and league ownership, today marks a significant step on the path to an exciting new chapter in Broncos history.”

Ellis is expected to step away from the Broncos after this sale is finalized.

Rob Walton also issued a statement on behalf of the Walton-Penner group where he said that they are thrilled to be moving forward with the purchasing of the Denver Broncos.

“We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos! Carrie, Greg and I are inspired by the opportunity to steward this great organization in a vibrant community full of opportunity and passionate fans.

“Having lived and worked in Colorado, we’ve always admired the Broncos. Our enthusiasm has only grown as we’ve learned more about the team, staff and Broncos Country over the last few months.

“We are excited to announce that Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO of Ariel Investments, has agreed to join our ownership group. Beyond her role at Ariel, Mellody is an influential leader in corporate and civic organizations across the nation.

“Mellody currently serves as Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase. We know she will bring her strategic acumen and leadership perspective to our team.

“Thank you to Joe Ellis and the staff of the Broncos for the first-class manner in which they have conducted this sale process. In addition, we thank Hogan Lovells for their guidance and support in this effort.

“We look forward to earning the confidence and support of the NFL as we take the next step in this process. When the necessary approval procedures are met, our family is excited to share more with Broncos fans, the organization and the community.”

Walton mentions Mellody Hobson will be joining the ownership group as well. She is a business icon, serves as the Chair of the Board of Starbucks Corporation, and is also a director of JPMorgan Chase.

Oh, and her husband is George Lucas - a guy you might have heard about.

The next step here will be the league approving this sale, which is expected. After that? A possible new stadium announcement? Progress toward a long-term extension with Russell Wilson? I would expect Walton to put his first official stamp on the team rather quickly, but what that will be is the big question here.

More information will continue to trickle out once more details of this sale are made known. Once a deal is finalized, a press conference where most, if not all, of these questions, will be asked and we will hopefully have some answers.

In the end, some serious money was spent on our beloved franchise. The Waltons have a history of running a successful business model, putting money into their investments, and continuing to make money for themselves. So, hopefully, this successful business model will continue with the Denver Broncos and help them once again become one of the premiere franchises in the NFL.