NBA icon Michael Jordan has significantly boosted his financial portfolio, raking in an astonishing $2.7 billion (£2.1 billion) through the divestiture of his predominant ownership in the Charlotte Hornets.
The illustrious six-time champion has further augmented his already substantial wealth as his sale of shares within the NBA franchise garnered the endorsement of league governors.
This transaction has transferred ownership control to Gabe Plotkin, Chief Investment Officer at Tallwoods Capital LLC, and Rick Schnall, Co-President of the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. As a result, they now hold the majority ownership of the team, while Jordan retains a minority stake in the venture.
The Hornets conveyed in a statement, “The sale, duly sanctioned by the NBA Board of Governors, confers immediate controlling interest in the franchise to Plotkin and Schnall.”
Jordan had been the owner of the Hornets since 2010 when he initially completed a purchase of the NBA franchise for £216 million ($275 million). Now, 13 years later, Jordan has completed the sale of his majority stake in the Hornets.
The Hornets did not win an NBA Championship during Jordan’s tenure in charge of the franchise. The 2022-23 season finished 27-55 and in a disappointing 14th final position in the Eastern Conference.
Following the sale, Jordan penned an emotional letter to the fans explaining why he had to drop the franchise and how deep it meant to him.
“Although my love for the game of basketball and the NBA remain strong, now is the right time for me to hand over the reins and focus on my family, my personal interests and some new challenges,” said Jordan.
“I’m excited to see what the future holds, and I look forward to supporting the team and the community in my new role for many years to come.
“This is a Thank You, not a goodbye, because the state of North Carolina, the city of Charlotte and the Hornets will always have a special place in my heart.”
Jordan added: “Thirteen years ago, I had the honour of becoming the majority owner of the Charlotte Hornets. The chance to own the NBA franchise in my home state and a city I love was truly a dream come true.
He went on:
“As Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall, and their ownership group, now take a controlling stake in the team, and I transition to becoming a minority owner, I want to say Thank You to Hornets fans for all the love and dedication you’ve shown the franchise and to me over the years.
“We’ve had some unforgettable moments together, as well as a few challenging ones, but through it all, you’ve remained committed to us. Although we were not as successful on the court as I – and many of you – would have liked, I am proud of the things that we accomplished as an organization.
“I will never forget the excitement when we brought the Hornets name back to its rightful home in Charlotte, uniting the histories and fanbases of both the original Hornets and the Bobcats. Our fans told us how important this was, and the amazing level of support and enthusiasm proved their point.
“One of my earliest priorities was renewing our focus on supporting the needs of our diverse community, just as we ask the community to support our team. From hurricane and COVID-19 relief efforts to our community pillars of education, hunger, military and wellness, Hornets Sports & Entertainment has been at the forefront of supporting this region and our neighbors in times of need.
“Bringing an NBA All-Star Game to Charlotte was a goal of our organization. NBA All-Star 2019 highlighted our city on a global stage, demonstrating to the entire world what a great host the city of Charlotte is.
“Together we brought pride to our community, created countless unforgettable memories for families and friends who cheered us on and served those in need.”