Ownership of the Charlotte Hornets is exchanging hands.
Hornets owner Michael Jordan has reached an agreement to sell his majority stake to a group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, the team announced Friday.
In an agreed sale, Jordan will maintain a minority ownership stake in the Hornets.
Plotkin has been a minority owner of the Hornets since 2019 and has been an alternate governor on the NBA Board of Governors since then. He is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Tallwoods Capital LLC.
As for the Hornets, Schnall is a „significant” minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks and has been an alternate governor on the BOG since 2015. He is in the process of selling his investment in the Hawks, which will be completed in the coming weeks.
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The new ownership group includes recording artists J. Cole and Eric Church and many others from the Charlotte area. The transaction is subject to BOG’s approval.
In March, The Associated Press reported Jordan was considering selling the Hornets, but no deal was immediate.
„Four years ago, Michael Jordan sold his shares of the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Gabe Plotkin,” Michael Jordan’s family office, Jump Management, said in a statement to The Associated Press in March. „As a natural step in a process because of that transaction, Michael and Gabe are discussing buying additional shares in his group.
„At this time, it is unclear whether additional sales will take place,” the statement said.
Jordan is the NBA’s only black owner. He bought the expansion team from Bob Johnson in 2010 for $180 million. According to Forbes, the team has a net worth of $1.7 billion after the 2021-22 season.
Schanall is a partner with private equity firm Clayton Dubilier & Rice and previously worked in investment banking divisions. According to the Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionSchnall is an avid basketball fan who is close with several college coaches.
In 2019, Jordan sold part of the Hornets to Melvin Capital’s founder Plotkin and TI Capital’s Daniel Sundheim, but Jordan still controlled the majority of the team’s stock.
Jordan enjoyed plenty of success as an NBA player, leading the Chicago Bulls to two three-peat championships while being named an NBA All-Star 14 times. He has also had success with his Jordan Brand merchandise and has a current net worth of $2 billion according to Forbes.
But Jordan, 60, hasn’t had much success as an NBA franchise.
Since 2010, the Hornets are 419-595 and will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year in 2022-23. The Hornets reached the playoffs just twice in 13 seasons under Jordan and never advanced past the second round.
The Hornets are listed as the 27th most valuable NBA franchise in the 30-team league.
However, NBA franchises remain a hot commodity.
Matt Ishbia, a mortgage executive, bought a majority stake in the Phoenix Suns and the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from embattled owner Robert Sarver for $4 billion in December.
Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai agreed in 2019 to buy the remaining 51% of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center for about $3.4 billion. Tsai previously bought 49% of the team from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov in 2018, with an option to become controlling owner in 2021.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.
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