Michael Jordan, who had gradually assumed near-total control of Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) since purchasing the team in 2010, is reportedly selling a minority stake in the NBA team Charlotte Hornets to two New York-based investors – Melvin Capital founder Gabe Plotkin and D1 Capital founder Daniel Sundheim.
The deal is done and process to complete the transaction will close shortly, say media reports.
Charlotte Hornets had formally announced over the last weekend that Plotkin and Sundheim will join the HSE in a transaction subject to NBA approval. The organization oversees the Charlotte Hornets as well as the Spectrum Center, NBA had reported.
“I’m excited to welcome Gabe and Dan as my partners in Hornets Sports & Entertainment,” Jordan said in a statement. “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 franchise is invaluable, as we continue to modernize, add new technology and strive to compete with the best in the NBA. Both Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for the game of basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas, and I look forward to working with and learning from them.”
The news, first reported by Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, indicated a substantial investment in the franchise, though by all accounts Jordan intends to retain control of the team. Bonnell reported that Jordan was “attracted to adding investors with deep resources who might offer new ideas regarding technology advances.”
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) September 14, 2019
Jordan is not giving up controlling interest and plans to own NBA team “for a long time.”
Jordan had purchased a controlling interest in the Hornets for a reported $180 million back in 2010. Earlier this year Forbes valued the franchise at US$1.25 billion.
Jordan, for sure, is not diluting his stake for cash flow. His net worth is estimated to be $1.9 billion.