The National Basketball Association (NBA) board of governors has approved the sale of the Charlotte Hornets from NBA legend Michael Jordan to an ownership group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall.
Gabe Plotkin is a hedge fund manager who founded Tallwoods Capital, while Rick Schnall is co-president of private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, as well as a minority owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, however, he has now been forced to sell his investment in Atlanta. Plotkin has been a minority stakeholder with the Hornets since 2019.
The members of the Hornets’ new ownership group include artist J. Cole, Dan Sundheim, Ian Loring, country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, Chris Shumway, and several local Charlotte investors, including Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills.
ESPN reported that the board was 29 to one in favor of the sale, which according to the same report was worth $3 billion.
While Jordan will remain as a minority owner, the sale ends his 13-year tenure as the majority owner of the franchise.
Jordan had originally agreed to sell the team on June 16, however, NBA rules require owners to have franchise sales approved by the league’s board of governors before they can be confirmed.
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Jordan’s decision to sell the Hornets leaves the NBA without a black majority owner.
The North Carolina native acquired a majority stake in the Hornets – then known as the Bobcats – for $175 million in 2010. He previously owned a minority stake since 2006.
He was the first former NBA player to become a majority owner.
The Hornets’ win-loss record was 423-600 under Jordan, the twenty-sixth best record over the time span in which he owned the team, with the Hornets not winning a playoff series during that time, and they have also missed the postseason for the last seven seasons.
The most recent sale of an NBA franchise occurred earlier this year when the NBA board of governors approved the sale of the Phoenix Suns to an ownership group led by Mat Ishbia, the billionaire chairman and president of US mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage.
Ishiba agreed to a deal to buy a majority stake in the North American basketball franchise, along with the Phoenix Mercury of the women’s WNBA, from beleaguered owner Robert Saver for $4 billion in December.
Image: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images