Joseph Tsai has reportedly agreed in principal to purchase a 49% stake in the Brooklyn Nets, with terms that could allow him to eventually buy the controlling interest.
ESPN recently reported that Tsai, the executive vice chairman and co-founder of Alibaba, has agreement in principal to acquire a 49% minority stake in the Nets. Under the reported terms of the deal, he will have the option to purchase the controlling interest in the franchise in 2021.
In the interim, Mikhail Prokhorov will continue to serve as the Nets principal and operating owner. Should Tsai eventually acquire the controlling interest, the transaction will include the Nets but not the Barclays Center, meaning the team would have to enter into a long-term lease for the Prokhorov-owned arena. More from ESPN:
The purchase price will be based on a $2.3 billion valuation of the team, league sources said. The sales price of $2.3 billion eclipses the NBA-record $2.2 billion that Tilman Fertitta recently paid to purchase the Houston Rockets.
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 the arena, and it’s expected that a new long-term lease for the Nets will be negotiated soon, league sources said.
Earlier this year, it was reported that groups were expressing interest in purchasing the Nets. Prokhorov originally acquired the controlling interest in the Nets in 2010.
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