Michael Jordan in talks to sell majority stake in Hornets, ESPN reports

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is in serious talks to sell a majority stake in the franchise, a source told ESPN.

The stake would be sold to a group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, according to ESPN’s source.

No deal is imminent, but there’s significant momentum on a sale that would eventually install Plotkin and Schnall as the co-governors of the Hornets, ESPN reported.

If a sale is completed, Jordan is expected to remain with a minority stake in the franchise, the source said.

Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and five-time MVP, is considered the greatest player in the history of the game, and he is currently the league’s only Black majority owner.

Jordan sold a significant minority stake to Plotkin, founder and chief investment officer of Melvin Capital, and Daniel Sundheim, founder and chief investment officer of D1 Capital, in 2020, and sources say that Sundheim is part of the group working to purchase the team.

Selling a majority share of the Hornets would mark the end of Jordan’s 13-year run as owner. He paid $275 million for a majority stake in the franchise in 2019.

Schnall, co-president at private equity firm of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice in New York, was part of a group that includes majority owner Tony Ressler and Grant Hill that purchased the Hawks in 2015 for $850 million.

The Charlotte City Council’s approval of Spectrum Center renovations in 2022 included a lease extension with the Hornets to play at the Uptown arena until at least 2045.

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