Denver Broncos interest intensifies as Ishbia brothers join race, report says

  • The Broncos narrowed the shortlist of bidders to five last month
  • The band faces competition from Josh Harris and Rob Walton

Mat Ishbia, general manager of United Wholesale Mortgage, and his brother Justin have joined a bidding group for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL), according to 9News.

The brothers were reportedly joined by Alec Gores, brother of Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores, and Greek-American billionaire Dean Metropoulos. Forbes pegs the group’s combined net worth at more than $11 billion.

The reported association between the Ishbia brothers and Gores comes after Michigan-based mortgage lender United Wholesale went public in 2021 via a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Gores Holdings, which valued the combined entity at $16 billion.

Sportico reported last month that the Broncos had narrowed the shortlist of potential buyers to five. The names included Walmart heir Rob Walton and Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment (HBSE) co-founder and managing partner Josh Harris.

Eldridge Industries general manager and Los Angeles Dodgers minority owner Todd Boehly was also reportedly on the Broncos’ shortlist. However, his recent takeover of English football giants Chelsea means he would now have to drop out of the race.

The Broncos are expected to sell for at least US$5 billion, which would break the record amount for a US sports team acquisition. The previous high came in 2019 when Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai paid $3.5 billion for the National Basketball Association (NBA) Brooklyn Nets and the rights to operate Barclays Center.

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