The Margin Archives | Email alerts

Aug. 9, 2022, 3:21 p.m. EDT

F1’s Lewis Hamilton joins Denver Broncos ownership group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton

Watchlist Relevance

Want to see how this story relates to your watchlist?

Just add items to create a watchlist now:

  • X
    Walmart Inc. (WMT)
  • X
    Starbucks Corp. (SBUX)
  • X
    JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

or Cancel Already have a watchlist? Log In

By Weston Blasi

Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton will be joining a group of investors who won the bidding for the NFL’s Denver Broncos franchise led by Walmart /zigman2/quotes/207374728/composite WMT -0.47% heir Rob Walton, the group announced.

Hamilton will be a minority shareholder as part of the reported $4.6 billion sale, the most expensive team sale for any sports franchise in history, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter . The deal is expected to take 60 to 90 days to close.

“(Hamilton) is a champion competitor who knows what it takes to lead a winning team and a fierce advocate for global equity, including in his own sport,” Rob Walton, said in a statement to USA Today . “With over 100 race wins, Lewis is considered the most successful F1 driver of all time. His resilient spirit and standard of excellence will be an asset to the ownership group and the Broncos organization.”

Hamilton has a net worth of $65 million, according to Forbes , and claims to have a home in Colorado , the state where the Broncos play.

See also: Tiger Woods turned down over $700 million to join Saudi-backed LIV Golf, says Greg Norman

In June, the Broncos announced that they had entered into an agreement with the Walton-Penner ownership group led by Rob Walton, his daughter, Carrie Walton Penner, and her husband, Greg Penner. The ownership group also includes Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Chicago-based Ariel Investments, non-executive chair of Starbucks Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207508890/composite SBUX -0.66% and a director at JPMorgan Chase /zigman2/quotes/205971034/composite JPM +0.81% .

Rob Walton will serve as the controlling owner of the Broncos, with Greg and Carrie Penner monitoring day-to-day operations, according to Broncos reporter Mike Klis .

See also: Why Deshaun Watson will only lose $345,000 for a 6-game suspension, despite his $230 million contract

The Waltons are America’s richest family, according to Forbes estimates , and have more than double the net worth of the second richest family, the politically influential Kochs .

The agreement for the Walmart-Penner group to buy the franchise from the Pat Bowlen Trust, the entity that currently owns the team, must be approved by the NFL, but that is considered a formality.

“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,” team CEO Joe Ellis said in a statement.

“I have enjoyed getting to know Rob Walton, Carrie Walton Penner and Greg Penner throughout this process,” Ellis said. “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.”

Rob Walton said in a statement: “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.”

Walton, 77, was chairman of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, from 1992 to 2015. He is the eldest son of founder Sam Walton and Helen Walton and has an estimated net worth of $58 billion , per Forbes.

See also: ‘Nobody wants to work anymore’ has been said for 100 years. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now.

The price tag for the Broncos surpasses the hasty $3.2 billion sale last month of Chelsea Football Club , one of European soccer’s top clubs, to an American-led group helmed by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly, and is more than double the $2.275 billion  David Tepper paid  for the Carolina Panthers in 2018, the most recent NFL team sale prior to the Denver deal.

Here are the top five most expensive sports franchise sales in the U.S.:

  1. $4.6 billion, Denver Broncos, sold to the Walton-Penner group in 2022

  2. $2.4 billion, New York Mets, sold to Steve Cohen in 2020

  3. $2.35 billion, Brooklyn Nets, sold to Alibaba’s Joe Tsai in 2019

  4. $2.275 billion, Carolina Panthers, sold to David Tepper in 2018

  5. $2.2 billion, Houston Rockets, sold to Tilman Fertitta in 2017

Assuming the pending sale is executed, members of the Walton family will have a near-monopoly on sports franchises in Colorado.

Also see: How a millionaire outbid a billionaire to buy the Golden State Warriors in 2010

Stan Kroenke, owner of the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids and Colorado Mammoth lacrosse teams, is married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton Kroenke. Kroenke himself is not affiliated with this Denver Broncos team sale in any way, as Kroenke also owns the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, and owners are not permitted to own multiple teams within the same league .

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

$ 155.34
-0.74 -0.47%
Volume: 3.71M
Nov. 30, 2023 12:10p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$426.99 billion
Rev. per Employee
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 99.20
-0.66 -0.66%
Volume: 2.38M
Nov. 30, 2023 12:10p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$113.50 billion
Rev. per Employee
$ 155.57
+1.25 +0.81%
Volume: 2.38M
Nov. 30, 2023 12:10p
P/E Ratio
Dividend Yield
Market Cap
$446.14 billion
Rev. per Employee

Get news alerts on Walmart Inc. — or create your own.
This Story has 0 Comments
Be the first to comment
More News In

Story Conversation

Commenting FAQs »

Partner Center

Link to MarketWatch's Slice.