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NBA legend Michael Jordan profits from sale of Charlotte Hornets stake

Thomas Barrabi

NBA legend Michael Jordan may have added even more money to his multibillion-dollar fortune than previously thought through his sale of a minority stake in the Charlotte Hornets earlier this month, according to a report.

Jordan sold an undisclosed minority stake to investors Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim at a $1.5 billion valuation, The Action Network reported last Friday. It’s unclear how large of a stake the two investors acquired or how much they paid to become minority owners.

While Jordan is said to have purchased majority ownership of the Hornets in 2010 in a deal that valued the team at $280 million, the actual outlay by his group of investors was $175 million, according to Forbes. Based on that cost, the Hornets’ valuation has increased more than 750 percent since Jordan bought majority control, with an even larger return on investment through his sale of a minority stake.

The $280 million figure included a commitment from Jordan’s group to cover future operating losses, Forbes added. The team has since become profitable.

The sale represents yet another financial windfall for Jordan, who has amassed a net worth of nearly $2 billion through his earnings on the court and various business dealings. As a businessman, he is perhaps best known for his relationship with Nike, which operates Jordan Brand as a subsidiary. He also has long-term relationships with Pepsi-owned Gatorade and Hanes.

Jordan will remain the Hornets’ majority owner and retain operating control over the franchise. The sale is subject to approval by the NBA.

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“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 team is invaluable,” Jordan said in a statement released by the Hornets. “Gabe and Dan are industry standard-setters and proven leaders, with a belief in philanthropy and a passion for basketball. They share my commitment to Charlotte and the Carolinas.”

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