Billionaire Joseph Tsai is close to buying a remaining 51% stake in the Brooklyn Nets from Mikhail Prokhorov, according to a New York Post report.
Tsai, co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, finalized an agreement last year to purchase a 49% stake in the Nets from Prokhorov. The deal gave Tsai the option to buy the remaining 51% share of the franchise prior to the 2021-22 NBA season, and it appears that he is moving close to completing that purchase.
According to the New York Post’s report, he paid $1 billion for his 49% ownership stake in the Nets and would pay an additional $1.35 billion for the remaining share. The deal could be announced this week, per the report. More from the New York Post:
The deal is expected to be announced this week, sources said.
The $2.35 billion transaction would mark the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise — beating hedge fund owner David Tepper’s $2.2 billion acquisition last year of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Tilman Fertitta’s $2.2 billion purchase of the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 2017.
Tsai already owns 49% of the team, which he bought for $1 billion last year. At that time, the 55-year-old businessman locked in the right to buy the remaining 51% of the team before the 2021-2022 basketball season for an additional $1.35 billion.
Tsai has made other moves in professional sports business, as he led the investment group that purchased the WNBA’s New York Liberty from Madison Square Garden earlier this year.