Magic Johnson strikes gold, acquires $14.5B financial services company

magic-johnsonFormer NBA superstar Magic Johnson announced that he has acquired EquiTrust – a life insurance company, for $14.5 billion.

“I’m excited to announce that I have acquired EquiTrust, a $14.5B financial services company…the largest acquisition by a minority-owned business of a financial services firm in history,” Johnson himself said on Facebook.

“This acquisition gives me a tremendous platform to advocate for financial literacy & assist in creating job opportunities at every level,” he said.

EquiTrust will join Johnson’s growing business and sports empire, Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), which he founded in 1987, according to USA Today.

Magic Johnson Enterprises’ portfolio also includes:

— A stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team

— An investment in Hero Ventures, the company behind The Marvel Experience, a theme-park attraction featuring Marvel’s famous heroes and villains

— A stake in the Los Angeles Sparks Women’s National Basketball Association team

— The Comcast channel ASPiRE, which celebrates the African-American experience

— An investment in Vibe Holdings, a New York-based magazine and television company that focuses on the urban market.

MJE said it completed its planned acquisition for a “majority, controlling interest” in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, which manages $14.5 billion in annuities, life insurance and other financial products.

MJE acquired a roughly 60% in EquiTrust from Guggenheim Partners, the New York-based financial giant that bought EquiTrust in 2011. MJE announced plans to buy a stake in EquiTrust in January 2014.

Over the years, Johnson has amassed a small empire of investments in sports teams, entertainment assets, restaurants and other businesses through MJE. The purchase of EquiTrust marks NBA legend’s first big push into the financial services sector.

The purchase could lead Johnson to speak more on financial literacy education, acting as a kind of spokesperson for his new company.

Earlier this month, Johnson announced he will join the board of Square, the payments company founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Dorsey was recently appointed interim CEO of Twitter amid shareholder grumblings over outgoing CEO Dick Costolo.

Meanwhile, a May 2015 poll on ExNBA has revealed that the basketball fans are more likely to do business with Magic Johnson (37 percent of all votes), than other former NBA stars, such as Shaquille O’Neal and Michael Jordan.

Johnson led the league in regular-season assists four times, and is the NBA’s all-time leader in average assists per game, at 11.2. He played in 906 NBA games, holding career averages of 19.5 ppg, 11.2 apg and 7.2 rpg in 36.7 minutes per game.

He was a member of the “Dream Team”, the U.S. basketball team that won the Olympic gold medal in 1992. He also is a 5-time NBA Champion.


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