Panthers bidding has reached record price

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The Panthers are valued by Forbes at $2.3 billion. But sources close to the process said Rubin has made a bid and is still interested in the team at the right price. He is chairman and CEO of a private equity firm called Bedrock Industries LP.

An investment group headed by billionaire Michael Rubin has dropped out of the bidding process for the Panthers as the price reached an estimated $2.5 billion, according to Bloomberg News.

A source also confirmed that Salisbury, North Carolina, native James Goodnight, the co-founder and CEO of the software company SAS, has shown interest in purchasing the Panthers. The current record is held by the Bills, who were sold to the Pegula family in 2014 for roughly $1.4 billion.

Jerry Richardson is planning to sell the Carolina Panthers, and Alan Kestenbaum is the latest name to join the list of potential bidders for the National Football League franchise. Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper and Charleston businessman Ben Navarro have also expressed interested in buying the team, the network reports.

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Charlotte businessman Felix Sabates started a potential local ownership group, but may look at partnering with another bidder.

The 55-year-old Kestenbaum, whose business focuses on owning and operating metals, mining and natural resources assets and companies, surfaced on Wednesday.

The Charlotte Observer reported Alan Kestenbaum is interested in submitting a bid. After completing an initial public stock offering in November, Stelco will use part of the $181 million in IPO proceeds to boost capacity at steel mills and to pursue possible acquisitions, according to a Reuters story. Bedrock controls 85 percent of Stelco, he told Business News Network past year.

If a new owner is selected later this month or early next month, the team owners could vote to approve the sale at their meeting in May.

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