Michael Jordan to sell significant minority stake in Charlotte Hornets

Michael Jordan is selling a significant stake in the Charlotte Hornets to two New York-based investors – but he will remain the majority owner of the National Baseball Association franchise.

Gabe Plotkin, the founder and chief investment officer of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim, the founder and chief investment officer of D1 Capital, will join Hornets Sports & Entertainment (HSE) as minority partners, subject to NBA approval.

The news was first reported by the Charlotte Observer  and confirmed by HSE over the weekend.

“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.”

Former Chicago Bulls legend Jordan became a minority owner of the Hornets – then known as the Bobcats – in 2006 and paid approximately $180m four years later to become the majority owner. Since then his stake has gradually grown to around 97 percent.

The size or value of the stakes provisionally purchased by Plotkin and Sundheim in the Hornets – who were valued at $1.3bn by Forbes earlier this year – have not been disclosed.

Neither investor has prior experience of owning a professional sports team. According to the Charlotte Observer, Jordan “is attracted to adding investors with deep resources who might offer new ideas regarding technology advances”.