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10 businesses Magic Johnson has owned

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Magic Johnson

After retiring as a player in May 1996, L.A. Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.a five-time NBA champion and arguably the greatest point guard of all time, fully transitioned into a second illustrious career as a businessman.

Over the last three decades, Johnson has built one of the largest fortunes in the United States by building and investing in an eclectic mix of business ventures.

At the heart of his business empire is Magic Johnson Enterprises (M.J.E.). Founded in 1987, M.J.E. is a conglomerate encompassing many businesses, including insurance, healthcare, food services, staffing, and sports – among several other sectors.

Billionaires.Africa highlights 10 of the largest companies in his portfolio. 

Los Angeles Lakers 

Johnson has a legendary relationship with the Los Angeles Lakers. He was not only an essential team member but also served as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations for a short time. In June of 1994, he acquired a minority 4.5-percent stake in the Lakers for $10 million. He went on to sell his stake sixteen years later for a handsome profit. 

Los Angeles Dodgers 

In addition to basketball, Johnson made significant inroads into baseball by becoming one of the owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Johnson owns a 2.3-percent stake in the team. He is part of Guggenheim Baseball Management, which is the full group of owners. 

Los Angeles Sparks

Johnson is also invested in women’s professional basketball. In 2014, an investment group led by him acquired the WNBA franchise Los Angeles Sparks. 

LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club)

Johnson is a co-owner of the Major League Soccer (MLS) team Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). LAFC competes in MLS as a member club of the league’s Western Conference.

EquiTrust Life Insurance Company

In 2015, Magic Johnson Enterprises acquired a roughly 60-percent stake in EquiTrust Life Insurance, a Chicago-based insurance company which manages $17 billion in fixed-rate and indexed annuities and life insurance. 

T.GI. Friday’s

In 1998, Johnson entered an agreement to develop a Magic Johnson’s T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant, in partnership with Carlson Restaurants Worldwide Inc. With more than 850 restaurants in 55 countries, Fridays is known for its burgers, steaks and potato skins. 

Magic Johnson Theaters

In 1994, Johnson developed a chain of movie theaters. In 2004, he sold his interest in Magic Johnson Theaters to Loews Cineplex Entertainment for an undisclosed sum.

Burger King franchises

In 2004, Johnson acquired 30 Burger King locations in Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Florida.

24 Hour Fitness Magic Johnson

Magic Johnson Enterprises and 24 Hour Fitnessa privately owned and operated fitness center chain headquartered in Carlsbad, California, have a partnership known as 24 Hour Fitness Magic Johnson. It has locations across the United States. 

Starbucks Franchises 

Between 1998 and 2010, Johnson invested in 125 Starbucks franchises. He sold them off in 2010. 

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