Report: Joseph Tsai to purchase 49 percent minority stake in Brooklyn Nets
NBA.com staff reports
It’s no secret that Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has been looking to sell off a sizable-yet-minority stake of ownership in his team. After months of looking for someone to buy a 49 percent stake in the team, Prokhorov seems to have found his buyer.
According to ESPN.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, Prokhorov has reached an agreement in principle on a deal with Joseph Tsai. The co-founder of Chinese e-commerce goliath Alibaba, Tsai had been among the names rumored to be interested in buying a stake in the Nets.
Joseph Tsai, the executive vice chairman and co-founder of Chinese e-commerce goliath Alibaba, has reached an agreement in principle to purchase a 49 percent minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets that includes the option to acquire controlling interest of the NBA franchise in several years, league sources told ESPN.
The purchase price will be based upon a $2.3 billion valuation of the team, league sources said.
Mikhail Prokhorov will remain principal and operating owner of the Nets for an additional four years, with a presumption that he will sell his majority stake upon the triggering of Tsai’s option, league sources said.
Tsai, 53, will not oversee any basketball or business operations as a minority partner in the team, responsibilities that will stay with Prokhorov and his management team until he sells his majority stake, league sources said.
The deal excludes the acquisition of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, sources said. Prokhorov owns a majority share of the arena, and it’s expected that a new long-term lease for the Nets will be negotiated in the near future, league sources said.
Tsai has expressed enthusiasm over the direction of the franchise with general manager Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson, sources said, and ultimately plans to work on bridging his strong Asian business ties into global business opportunities for the Nets.