Michael Jordan reaches agreement to relinquish majority ownership
By Kevin Tolbert
June 16, 2023 – In a statement released by the organization, Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) announced today that Chairman Michael Jordan has reached an agreement to sell his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets to a group (“the Buyer Group”) led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall.
Former Entertainment mogul and majority owner Bob Johnson welcomed Jordan into the organization back in 2006 when he sold Jordan a minority stake in the Hornets. The former NBA Champion and 6-time NBA Finals MVP but became the majority owner of the team in 2010. At that time, the $275 Million dollars (approximately) Jordan ponied up, helped Jordan achieve another historic milestone in NBA history. He became the first former NBA player to become the majority owner of a franchise. Prior to the announcement of the latest deal, Jordan oversaw the organization for 13 years.
Jordan oversaw a Hornets franchise, formerly known as the Charlotte Bobcats that went 423-600 since 2011. The latest version of the organization, brought back to Charlotte in 2004, has appeared in the NBA playoffs just three times since re-launching and were not able to advance beyond the first round. In two of those appearances, the team failed to win a single game of the series.
Plotkin, a member of the NBA Board of Governors, acquired a minority stake in the Hornets in 2019, is also founder and chief investment officer of Tallwoods Capital LLC. Schnall is co-president of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC, where he has worked for 27 years, and has been a significant minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks. Schnall is currently looking to sell his investment in the Hawks, which is expected to be completed in the next several weeks.
The Buyer Group will also include Dan Sundheim, Ian Loring, Dyal HomeCourt Partners, North Carolina natives recording artist J. Cole and country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, and several local Charlotte investors, including Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills.
The organization indicated that Jordan will retain a minority ownership share of the team. The transaction is subject to the approval of the NBA Board of Governors. The portfolio of assets to be acquired includes the Charlotte Hornets, Greensboro Swarm (NBA G League) and Hornets Venom GT (NBA 2K League), as well as managing and operating Spectrum Center, each of which is included as part of the sale.
The latest deal will now leave the NBA without any Black minority ownership.