According to Bleacher Report, Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan has agreed to sell a minority share of the Charlotte Hornets to two New York investors. It was announced that Gabe Plotkin, founder and chief investment officer of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim, founder and chief investment officer of D1 Capital, will join Hornets Sports & Entertainment as investors. The transaction is subject to NBA approval.
In 2010, Jordan invested less than $180 million in cash and debt-assumption to buy approximately 65% of the NBA expansion team, then named the Bobcats, from Black Entertainment Television co-founder Bob Johnson. The team is reportedly worth $1.3 billion, with Jordan owning 97%, but the exact percentage he is selling it for hasn’t been revealed.
“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.” Jordan maintains majority ownership of the franchise.
It’s being reported that Jordan wanted to find investors who could help guide the team with technological advances as he continues to make and lead all basketball decisions. Neither Plotkin nor Sundheim has any ownership or experience in a sports franchise.
This move comes after Jordan lost his best player, Kemba Walker, to free agency when the point guard signed with the Boston Celtics. The Hornets finished last season with a 39-43 record, just missing the final spot in the playoffs.
“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,” says Jordan.