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Source: Robert F. Smith not planning to bid on Broncos

Forbes says private equity investor from Denver is worth $6.7 billion. Source said Smith's focus is on voting rights, economic justice and underserved communities.

DENVER — A source close with Robert F. Smith disputes a report that said the Denver-raised billionaire would be a potential bidder for the Denver Broncos providing the team is put up for sale.

“He is not a potential buyer and is not planning on purchasing the Broncos,’’ said the source.

Citing sources, FrontOfficeSports reported on January 20 that Smith “has emerged as one of the possible bidders for the Broncos.’’

Broncos’ chief executive officer Joe Ellis is expected to address the team’s controlling owner transition in the next week or so. The team is currently held in a trust of late owner Patrick D. Bowlen. After years of trying to groom daughter Brittany Bowlen to one day replace her father as controlling owner, the expectation now is the team will be sold through auction. Last fall, Forbes listed the Broncos' franchise value at $3.75 billion.

Smith, 59, grew up in Denver and graduated from Denver East High School. He is the founder, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm. Forbes lists his net worth at $6.7 billion.

In his honor, a local group named Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy, a Denver Public School, after him. The school opened in the fall and currently is educating its inaugural freshman class.

“Robert's priorities right now are on the fight for voting rights and economic justice rather than being...an owner of a team,’’ said the source. “He continues to be most focused on how he can best help underserved communities gain access to capital, healthcare, education, and the ballot box. Pursuing ownership of the Broncos is not on his radar right now.”

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