A group consisting of a millionaire hedge fund manager and rapper J. Cole has reportedly purchased Michael Jordan’s majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets, the NBA team he has owned for over ten years, for approximately $3 billion.
The NBA announced on Friday that Michael Jordan has sold his ownership stake in the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Gabe Plotkin, a hedge fund founder with an existing minority stake in the team, and Rick Schnall, the president of a private equity firm who holds a minority stake in the Atlanta Hawks.
Sources informed ESPN that Jordan sold the team for approximately $3 billion, nearly double the previous valuation and 20 times the amount he originally paid for the franchise as a former NBA star.
The Hornets to obtain confirmation regarding the sale price.
The purchasing group consists of rapper J. Cole, country music artist Eric Church, former minority stake owner Dan Sundheim, Ian Loring, Dyal HomeCourt Partners, and local investors Amy Dawson and Damian Mills, all of whom have connections to North Carolina.
According to ESPN, Jordan intends to retain a minority stake in the Hornets and will continue to serve as the team’s owner and chairman, overseeing its operations until at least July 1, as stated by league sources.
Approval from the NBA Board of Governors is still necessary to finalize the transaction.
History-Making Majority Stake to Hornets
In 2010, Michael Jordan, a North Carolina native and six-time NBA champion, acquired a majority stake in the Hornets (then called the Bobcats) for $175 million. Prior to that, he held a minority stake in the team starting from 2006. Jordan made history as the first former NBA player to become a majority owner and remains the league’s sole Black majority owner.
Following his purchase, the team faced significant challenges during the 2011-2012 season, enduring a 23-game losing streak with a .106 winning percentage, the worst in NBA history. Despite a name change in 2014 and some progress in reaching the playoffs, the Hornets have yet to secure an NBA championship.
In 2019, Jordan sold a minority stake in the team to Gabe Plotkin, the founder of Tallwoods Capital (formerly Melvin Capital), and Daniel Sundheim.
The Hornets, with the anticipation of a new stadium, were valued at $1.7 billion. In June 2022, the city greenlit a $275 million agreement to renovate the Hornets’ current home, the Spectrum Center, and extend the team’s lease until 2045. The exact price of the recent deal remains undisclosed.