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Michael Jordan becomes 4th billionaire in NC, Forbes says

Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan

This week’s news that Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan is now a billionaire puts him in a rare group in North Carolina.

According to Forbes magazine, the state is home to only three others: Charlotte businessman C.D. “Dick” Spangler; Jim Goodnight, CEO of Cary-based software vendor SAS, and John Sall, SAS executive vice president.

On Thursday, Forbes reported that Jordan had hit billionaire status after increasing his stake in his NBA team. Forbes estimated his equity in the Hornets at $416 million and his net worth outside of the team at $600 million. The magazine reported that Jordan now owns 89.5 percent of the team.

Jordan spokeswoman Estee Portnoy on Friday described the Forbes report as “speculative.” She said Jordan purchased an additional stake in the Hornets in January 2013, but she would not say how much.

Portnoy said Jordan’s primary residence is in Florida but he has a home in uptown Charlotte. Jordan’s mother has a home on Lake Norman, she said.

Goodnight, Sall and Spangler are on the magazine’s most recent 400 “Richest People in America” list.

Charlotte’s only other billionaire resident is businessman Spangler, according to the magazine, which calculated his net worth at $2.3 billion. Spangler, whose source of wealth is investments, is one of Bank of America’s largest individual shareholders, Forbes says. He also owns shares of Wells Fargo and is a board member of Charlotte-based National Gypsum.

Goodnight and Sall both have residences in Cary, according to Forbes, which pegs Goodnight’s net worth at $7.2 billion and Sall’s at $3.6 billion.

A six-time NBA champion, Jordan earned fame on the basketball court, as well as through endorsements and movies. The 51-year-old became the majority owner of the Hornets (formerly the Bobcats) in 2010 when he bought out Bob Johnson’s share of the team. The Associated Press contributed.

Roberts: 704-358-5248; Twitter: @DeonERoberts
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