Canadian steel company executive joins list of potential Carolina Panthers bidders

Bidding for the Carolina Panthers has reportedly hit $2.5 billion. More

Panthers superfan Stephen Curry and Sean "Diddy" Combs are set to be part of that team. At this point, billionaire businessman Joseph Tsai is the only confirmed partner with Rubin, sources said.

Bloomberg reported that Canadian billionaire Jim Pattison could be backing Kestenbaum's bid, but he told the Observer that he is not interested in buying the team.

Sources close to the process could not confirm to ESPN that the $2.5 billion is accurate.

A $2.5 billion bid wouldn't be too far off the perceived value of the Panthers. It is unclear what Rubin considers the right price.

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.

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It's starting to look like Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is going to walk away with a healthy profit when he sells his team later this year.

According to a bio on his company website, Kestenbaum has "extensive investing and operating experience in the natural resources sectors as well as a successful track record in turnarounds and restructurings". Kestenbaum is chairman and CEO of the private equity firm Bedrock Industries LP.

Rubin, who is worth $3 billion, owns sports apparel retailer Fanatics and already owns a stake in the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Devils and the English soccer team Crystal Palace. The Dallas Cowboys are listed as the most valuable professional sports franchise at a worth of $4.8 billion.

Jerry Richardson put the team up for sale in December after the National Football League took over an investigation into workplace harassment allegations.

Per the report, the Panthers may select a winning bid by the end of March or early in April. The most likely scenario for that, ESPN.com first reported last month, is the May 21-23 meetings in Atlanta.

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