Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is engaged in serious talks to sell a majority stake in the franchise to a group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
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, sources said.
If a sale is completed, Jordan is expected to remain with a minority stake in the franchise, sources said.
Jordan, a six-time NBA champion and five-time MVP, is considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game and has been 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 said 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 2010.
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.