Charlotte Hornets

Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Hornets paper profit huge, per Forbes

Based on Forbes’ most recent NBA valuation estimate, Michael Jordan has made a huge paper profit on his original purchase of the Charlotte Hornets.
Based on Forbes’ most recent NBA valuation estimate, Michael Jordan has made a huge paper profit on his original purchase of the Charlotte Hornets. AP

If Forbes’ annual NBA franchise valuations are at all accurate, Charlotte Hornets majority owner Michael Jordan is on track to quadruple his investment since 2010.

Forbes estimates the Hornets are worth $1.05 billion in a story published this week. While that ranks only 28th among the 30 NBA franchises, it’s a 35 percent rise in the franchise’s value in 2017. Jordan owns the vast majority of the Hornets, after acquiring majority control from founding owner Bob Johnson of the then-Charlotte Bobcats in March 2010.

According to an NBA source familiar with the terms of Johnson’s deal with Jordan, it was based on a franchise value of $287 million. That same source said Jordan’s upfront cash outlay was approximately $30 million. Most of Jordan’s financial responsibility was assuming debt Johnson took on in the start-up cost of the expansion franchise in 2004.

Forbes’ estimate suggests the Hornets had operating income of $21 million in 2017, on revenues of $202 million. Forbes noted the Hornets have approximately 11,000 season-ticket holders and have recent advertising deals on their uniforms with LendingTree and Jordan Brand.

Forbes projects that all 30 NBA franchises are now worth $1 billion or more for the first time.

Bonnell: 704-358-529: @rick_bonnell

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