Hornets sale from Michael Jordan to Gabe Plotkin, Rick Schnall finalized

Stephen A. happy for Jordan, who is selling Hornets (1:39)

Stephen A. Smith reacts to Michael Jordan finalizing a sale of his majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets. (1:39)

Michael Jordan's sale of a majority stake in the Charlotte Hornets to a group led by Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin has been finalized, it was announced Thursday.

"I'm thrilled to be able to pass the reins to two successful, innovative and strategic leaders in Gabe and Rick," Jordan said in a statement issued Thursday. "I know the Hornets organization is in great hands moving forward. I'm excited about the future of the team and will continue to support the organization and the community in my new role in the years ahead."

Jordan, whose run as majority owner ends after 13 years, will continue to hold a minority stake in the team. The purchase was made at an approximate $3 billion valuation; Jordan paid $275 million for a majority stake in the franchise in 2010.

The NBA's board of governors approved the new ownership group last month with a 29-1 vote, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Schnall, who had been a minority owner with the Atlanta Hawks, and Plotkin, a minority owner with the Hornets, will serve as co-chairmen of HSE and will rotate the team's governorship every five years, beginning with Schnall.

They will be introduced at a news conference at 1 p.m. ET.

"We want to thank Michael for this opportunity, as well as his support throughout this process," Plotkin and Schnall said in a combined statement. "During his ownership, he brought stability to the Hornets franchise, achieved many business milestones, reconnected and reinvested in the Charlotte community and has the organization positioned for greater success. We look forward to building upon this success in the years to come.

They said their vision is to take the Hornets to the "next level," on and off the court.

"We will look to build a highly competitive basketball team, develop innovative business practices, give back to our community and connect with our fans," the new owners said. "We plan to further invest in the team, the facilities and the fan experience, with the goal of delivering a winner to our fans throughout the Carolinas. We are confident that our successful business backgrounds and our previous experience as NBA minority owners will be beneficial as we shape the future of the franchise as a best-in-class organization."

Schnall also has served as the alternate governor on the NBA's board of governors since 2015. He was involved in various aspects of the Hawks' team-building process as well as the renovations to State Farm Arena. He is co-president of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice LLC, where he has worked for 27 years.

Plotkin will serve as co-chairman and alternate governor. He originally acquired a minority stake in the Hornets in 2019. He has been an alternate governor on the league's board of governors since 2019. He is the founder and chief investment officer of Tallwoods Capital LLC.

The Hornets' new ownership group also includes Chris Shumway; Dan Sundheim; Ian Loring; Andrew Schwartzberg; Dyal HomeCourt Partners; recording artist J. Cole and country music singer-songwriter Eric Church, who are both from North Carolina; and several local Charlotte investors, including Amy Levine Dawson and Damian Mills.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.