Michael Jordan has sold a significant piece of the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA team he became the majority owner of in 2010. He purchased it at that time from BET co-founder Bob Johnson.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Jordan agreed to sell shares to New York-based investors Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim but will still be the majority owner. The retired basketball star is said to own 97 percent of the Hornets’ equity and plans to be the chief owner “for a long time” to come.
Michael Jordan is selling a substantial number of shares of the Charlotte Hornets to two New York-based investors. (Photo: John McCoy / Getty Image Sport via Getty Images)
Before the deal is finalized, it first has to be approved by the NBA, but the process is already in motion and should be done in the next few weeks.
“While I will continue to run the Charlotte Hornets, make all decisions related to the team and organization, and remain the team’s NBA Governor, Gabe and Dan’s investment in the team is invaluable,” said Jordan in a statement. “Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas.”
Jordan — who became a minority owner of the team in 2006 — grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, and played in the NBA for 15 seasons. He purchased the majority shares of the Hornets for $180 million when they were still called the Bobcats.
Johnson, along with other investors, bought the Bobcats for $300 million in 2004, and Jordan paid that smaller amount because he also assumed the team’s debt.
The now 56-year-old is the first former NBA player to be a majority owner of a team and remains the only one. His net worth is said to be around $1.9 billion.
Meanwhile, both Plotkin and Sundheim manage investment firms that are worth over $3 billion.