Broncos, Walton-Penner family enter into purchase-sale agreement to acquire team

The Denver Broncos announced Tuesday night that the club and the Walton-Penner family entered into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the team.

The Walton-Penner family is now set to acquire ownership of the Broncos from the Pat Bowlen Trust, pending approval from the NFL’s finance committee and at least three-fourths (24) of the league’s 32 owners. Per the Broncos and Walton-Penner joint statement, the agreement is also subject to “the satisfaction of customary closing procedures.”

The Walton-Penner group’s winning bid was for $4.65 billion, NFL Network’s James Palmer reported.

“We are thrilled to be selected to move forward with the purchase of the Denver Broncos!” a statement from Rob Walton on behalf of the Walton-Penner family ownership group read. “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.”

Ellis, the Broncos’ team president and CEO, also released 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.

“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.”

Pat Bowlen purchased the Broncos in 1984 and the franchise won three Super Bowls during his ownership. Bowlen ceded control of the team in July 2014 to Ellis when Bowlen acknowledged that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Bowlen passed away in 2019 and the Pat Bowlen Trust has assumed ownership since then. The trust announced in February that it had commenced the process of selling the club.

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