Apr 20 2014, 10:52am CDT | by Forbes
In June 2003, Jordan was considering whether to either invest in the Bucks or the NBA’s expansion team in Charlotte. Kohl was looking to get $170 million for his team, and BET founder Johnson, who had bought the Bobcats six month earlier for $300 million, wanted to bring in Jordan as an investor. Jordan was looking to invest $50 million of his own loot for which he wanted managerial control.
Since then, the Bucks have gone through a decade of futility on the hardwood and have stayed afloat with the help of revenue-sharing subsidies. Meanwhile, the Bobcats quickly became a debacle and Johnson eventually sold the entire franchise to Jordan for just $175 million (the enterprise value consisted of $150 million of debt and only $25 million of equity).
Jordan has turned the Bobcats around. The team posted a mark of 43-39 this year and made the playoffs for just the second time. And the Bobcats play in a bigger market than Milwaukee and have a more lucrative arena.
No doubt, Kohl has made out well on his $18 million purchase of the Bucks in 1986. But there is also no doubt that Jordan’s $25 million of equity has increased much more with the Bobcats than it would have with the Bucks.
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