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Does Magic Johnson Own Starbucks?

Ever since the flamboyant Magic Johnson was forced to retire, he has begun expanding his business by tackling new opportunities when they arose. Due to this determination, Johnson now owns several very successful businesses across the world. 

Does Magic Johnson Own Starbucks? Johnson unfortunately does not own any portion of Starbucks anymore BUT, he did in fact own quite a lot of Starbucks stores around the world. From the year 1998 all the way to 2010, Johnson owned approximately 105 different Starbucks properties. He did end up selling all 105 of them back into the company and no longer holds any legal link to them.

To some, this is probably a shocking revelation to hear. How did Johnson end up pulling this type of deal off? How much did this type of deal cost Johnson at first?

How Did Johnson Net This Deal?

Funnily enough, Magic Johnson wasn’t able to grab an offer straight away. He had to really work on the Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to make it all happen. Magic was able to get together a boardroom pitch to Schultz at first, but the CEO wasn’t convinced that it was the right move for his company to be making at the time. Johnson later invited him out to a movie theater that he owned. Johnson himself said that he took him to the opening night of Waiting to Exhale, starring Whitney Houston. He remembers that the entire lobby was packed that night and from his recollection, “Our biggest screen had 500 women inside. Suddenly, every woman thought she knew Whitney Houston personally and started talking to the screen.” Just 20 minutes into the movie viewing experience, Schultz pulled Johnson to the side and admitted that he had never seen a movie experience like this before. Magic said that this moment was exactly how he was able to convince Schultz to partner up and expand. Johnson made sure to really focus on inner-city communities when he got the green light. After all, expanding to new areas was something that he really focused on in his original pitch to Schultz. He was and still is incredibly passionate about the potential in urban America. He once said, “You’ve got to knock on the doors of corporations who have the same mindset as yours, who have the same heart as yours. If I’m in New York, I can take them to Harlem, I can take them to the Bronx, I can take them to Los Angeles, and I can take them to the South Side of Chicago. You’re going to have to find a way to touch their heart and spirit.” This is the exact philosophy that Magic has. He knows the communities incredibly well and approaches them completely different than most corporations nowadays. There is no wonder why he was able to grow so many different Starbucks properties in just over a decade.

Does Magic Johnson Have His Own Business?

Yes, he does. Magic was able to create something called Magic Johnson Enterprises. It is an investment company owned by the former NBA superstar and started to take some criticism when he first created it. There were people that thought he was only investing by using other people’s money and not even his own. However, he turned everything around quickly when he started with a ton of different companies. Magic Johnson Enterprises was involved in Burger King restaurants, 24-Hour Fitness health clubs and the Magic Johnson Theatres. They later expanded to invest with other big corporations like the Los Angeles Lakers and T.G.I Fridays. He didn’t just own a small portion of these business either. He picked up 31 Burger King restaurants, 13 fitness health clubs, and four different Magic Johnson Theatres spread across four different cities. I think that it is more than safe to say that Magic Johnson Enterprises is a very successful investment company. Johnson seems to know what he is doing when it comes to these types of things, but his passion is what really separates him from the rest. Also, despite talking about his involvement with urban communities, we haven’t even scratched the surface of what he has done in that area.

Urban Investments

Johnson first started to dive into urban investments back in 2001. He was able to partner up with Canyon Capital to create something called the Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund. This helped finance 31 real estate developments across 13 states. This was a huge accomplish but it didn’t automatically start out as a success. In fact, it really struggled to surpass their $300 million goal during the first two years of its creation. The struggle didn’t deter them in the slightest. Before you knew it, they created another fund and made $600 million that time around. Their third investment fund really took the cake though. This one ended up bursting through all their expectations by raising $1 billion. The fund was able to then get involved with the Transamerica Center complex that is currently stationed in Los Angeles, costing $100 million to build. They also got involved in Sunset+Vine that is in Hollywood. This property was built for $125 million itself before being sold off for another $160 million. Oh, we also must talk about the deal he made with Best Buy. Johnson worked out a multi-year marketing deal with the electronics retailer to improve sales from the company in urban neighborhoods. Finally, they were able to come to a partnership with Sodexo. Sodexo is a large food service and management company, one of the largest that we have in the world. The agreement ended up seeing SodexoMAGIC come to life.  All in all, Johnson and Canyon Capital have been able to heavily impact urban communities in a positive way and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.