Jun 13, 2014, 11:11 AM EST
Michael Jordan is now a billionaire.
I have learned from sources familiar with the Charlotte Hornets that the former NBA great has increased his stake in his basketball team to 89.5% from 80% during the past several months.
sports bankers say the Hornets are presently worth between $600 million and $625 million.
Our net worth figure for Jordan uses the $600 million figure. The Hornets have $135 million of debt, which makes Jordan’s equity in the team worth $416 million. After subtracting all the cash Jordan has invested in the team, we estimate his net worth outside of the Hornets to be $600 million, giving him a net worth of a $1 billion
It sounds as if Jordan is buying shares of the Hornets for less than they’re valued by Forbes. Otherwise, he’d just be converting his outside worth into equity in the team rather than gaining net worth.
Perhaps that’s savvy negotiating by Jordan as NBA franchise values rise. Maybe the price for him to accumulate more shares was set when he originally bought the team. It could be some of both.
Either way, Jordan is making money.
LeBron James once said he wants to become the first billionaire athlete. This is just another way he’s still stuck Jordan’s shadow.
Maybe LeBron can try to get there second. The first spot is gone forever.
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