Joe Tsai has acquired full ownership of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, as it was announced Wednesday that the transaction has closed.
Last month, it was announced that Tsai–co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group– had reached an agreement to buy the controlling interest in the Nets and Barclays Center from Mikhail Prokhorov. The move came after Tsai purchased a 49% stake in the Nets in 2018, part of an agreement that gave him the option to buy the remaining 51% share of the franchise prior to the 2021-22 NBA season. With Wednesday’s announcement, Tsai is now the new NBA Governor of the Nets and its affiliates and Chairman of Barclays Center.
“With full ownership of the Nets and Barclays Center, we will continue to bring our exciting brand of basketball to our fans,” Tsai said in a press statement. “We’ve made a strong commitment to Brooklyn and it will be a privilege to present the best of Barclays Center with its great entertainment to our community.”
As a result of this transaction, the Nets and Barclays Center join the portfolio of sports assets of J Tsai Sports, the sports investment and holding vehicle controlled by Tsai. Other holdings of J Tsai Sports include the New York Liberty of the Women’s National Basketball Association, San Diego Seals of the National Lacrosse League, as well as investments in the Premier Lacrosse League, Los Angeles FC of Major League Soccer and several sports media and technology companies based in North America and Asia.
Oliver Weisberg, chief executive officer of J Tsai Sports and Tsai’s family office, along with general counsel Henry Li and vice president Rich Tao, led the effort to acquire the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center. Tsai and his team were advised by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as legal counsel and The Raine Group LLC as financial advisor in the transaction.
In a separate announcement, it was also revealed Wednesday that Tsai has appointed experienced media and sports executive David Levy as the Chief Executive Officer of the Nets and Barclays Center. Levy, who will also serve as President of J Tsai Sports, comes to the position after 32 years at Turner Broadcasting, including the last six as President of the company.
“I am excited and honored to join the Nets organization and look forward to working alongside Joe and the talented forward-thinking executives and team members across the entire organization,” Levy said in a press statement. “Sean Marks and Kenny Atkinson have done a terrific job instilling a winning culture and I am looking forward to supporting them as we build a sustainable foundation of success on and off the court. I am excited for our fans and can’t wait to get started.”
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