Michael Jordan is a billionaire now, owing a debt of gratitude to the soaring value of NBA franchises.
Jordan has, over the last few months, increased his stake in the Charlotte Hornets to 89.5 percent (up from 80 percent), according to Mike Ozanian of Forbes.com. And, if you’ve paid any attention whatsoever to what has happened to NBA franchises since Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers two weeks ago, you’ll know how significant that is, even for the Hornets.
Here’s how Ozanian arrives at the billion-dollar figure:
Jordan first became an investor in the Hornets (then the Bobcats) in 2006 and became the controlling owner in 2010 when he bought out Robert Johnson for $175 million. Sports bankers say the Hornets are presently worth between $600 million and $625 million. The Milwaukee Bucks sold for $550 million in May, and they are considered the least valuable team in the league.
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.
The amazing thing is that it may have taken him this long. Jordan’s Nike brand topped $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time in 2009 and continues to thrive, making up about five percent of Nike’s overall revenues.
Forbes estimates Jordan’s annual income at around $90 million.