MICHAEL JORDAN RETIRED from the game of basketball in 2003. Yet two decades on, His Airness is still making headlines. However now, it’s for his scores off the court.
Over the weekend, it was announced that Jordan is set to sell the Charlotte Hornets, a team that he’s owned since 2010, for a reported — are you sitting down for this? — $4.37 billion valuation.
Absurd. Michael Jordan, an already self-made billionaire, now has another four billion to add to his pile. But what makes this sale truly impressive is just how baller Jordan’s business acumen is. When the six-time NBA champion and five-time MVP purchased a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets back in 2010, he did so for a reported $558 million.
Quite the handsome profit margin.
The sale of the Hornets is currently in the process of being finalised, and the men announced to acquire a majority of its stake are Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall.
In addition to holding onto a minority stake of the franchise at the completion of the sale, Jordan will also continue to oversee basketball operations through to the NBA draft (this Thursday) and the start of free agency period from July 1.
The new owners are no strangers to the sporting world — Schnall is currently minority owner with the Atlanta Hawks, and Plotkin was a minority owner with the Hornets. Schnall is a co-president of private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, while Plotkin was the founder and former head of Melvin Capital Management, a New York City-based hedge fund firm, which, according to the New York Times, went bust after it lost billions of dollars when amateur investors coordinated to buy shares of GameStop stock, driving up the price.
Rapper J. Cole, along with country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, will also be among the new group of minority owners.
Needless to say, the crew will have their work cut out for them with their latest acquisition. This season alone, the Hornets finished 27-55, the second-worst record in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. And throughout Jordan’s 13-year tenure as the owner of the franchise, his team was never able to reach past the first round of the playoffs.
The Hornets have also missed the playoffs for seven straight years. Perhaps it’s why Jordan was eager to move the franchise along, reportedly to have been in “serious talks” to sell his majority stake as early as the start of year. According to Forbes, the Hornets are ranked the 27th most valuable franchise in the NBA.
As for where his earnings will go, well, Jordan is known for his philanthropic activities — but he also lives a life of complete indulgence. There’s his personal (and often touted “secret”) golf course that features a drone delivery service to bring guests beer and other refreshments; his ever-growing list of properties and estates around the world; his luxury car collection (excluding a $4.3 million Hennessey F5 Roadster) and lest we forget his luxury watch collection, which boasts a $1.6 million Ulysse Nardin Royal Blue Mystery Tourbillon.
Of course, MJ is no rookie when it comes to wheeling and dealing. And the return on investment is widely believed to be the motivating force behind his decision to sell the Hornets now.
He’ll make close to $3.8 billion on the deal, a sum capable of turning any serious investor green with envy. We’re taking notes.