NBA legend Michael Jordan has agreed to sell ‘a large piece’ of the Charlotte Hornets to a pair of Wall Street hedge-fund traders.
The transaction will see Gabe Plotkin, founder of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim, founder of D1 Capital, join Hornets Sports and Entertainment (HSE), the organisation that oversees the team and their Spectrum Center home, as partners.
It hasn’t been revealed how much the New York-based investors are buying or at what price, but by all accounts, Jordan will remain majority owner and retain full control over the franchise.
The local Charlotte Observer also added that the former Chicago Bulls star controls ‘about 97 per cent’ of the Hornets.
The deal is still pending NBA approval, but the Observer’s report said that the process is already underway and that the transaction is expected to close quickly.
As per NBA rules for minority owners, Plotkin and Sundheim will not have a seat on the board or any say in team governance.
“While I will continue to run the Charlotte Hornets, make all decisions related to the team and organisation, and remain the team’s NBA governor, Gabe and Dan’s investment in the franchise is invaluable, as we continue to modernise, add new technology and strive to compete with the best in the NBA,” Jordan said.
“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.”
Although Jordan purchased a controlling interest in the Hornets for a reported US$180 million back in 2010, earlier this year Forbes valued the franchise at a cool US$1.25 billion.