Nets will sell 49 percent stake to Alibaba co-founder
Brooklyn News owner Mikhail Prokhorov will sell a 49 percent minority stake in the franchise to Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai, giving the former the option for Prokhorov to sell the controlling interest of the organization in a few years, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe. The sale will be based on a $2.3 billion valuation of the team, according to sources.
The Russian magnate will remain the principal and operating owner of the team for four years, presumably selling his majority stake once he triggers Tsai’s option, according to league sources.
The 53-year-old Tsai won’t be able to take part in operations due to his minority stake in the franchise, and since the deal excludes the acquisition of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn — Prokhorov is expected to renew a lease for the arena, since he owns the area.
Prokhorov first bought the team in 2010, setting a five-year plan to win a championship — one that tanked badly thanks to his aggressive and at times reckless way of handling transactions — leading them to win only one playoff series after the rebranding of the franchise, and sporting the league’s worst record last season with 20 wins.
The Nets have been in the up swing in recent memory, managing a crunch-time victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday even without point guard D’Angelo Russell, who was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers for centerpiece Brook Lopez this summer.