Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov sold 49% of the shares of the club of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to the vice-president of Alibaba Group Joseph Tsai. According to unofficial information, Mr. Prokhorov will get $ 1.15 billion for papers. The terms of the contract stipulate that in 2021 Mr. Tsai can redeem the remaining shares of Brooklyn for the same amount. It should be noted that Mikhail Prokhorov, who had been looking for a buyer for his basketball asset for a long time, managed to observe the key parameter of the deal, namely, to sell only the club's securities, leaving Barclays Center in New York at the same time.
On Friday, the press office of the NBA club "Brooklyn Nets" reported that the team had a new co-owner. They became the vice-president and co-founder of Alibaba Group Joseph Tsai. The club noted that Mr. Tsai bought a 49% stake in Nets from a Russian businessman Mikhail Prokhorov. Officially, the price of securities is not called, but even last fall Bloomberg referring to sources surrounded by Mr. Tsai said that the parties agreed to conduct the sale of "Brooklyn" in two stages. The first one was supposed to transfer to Joseph Tsai 49% of shares for $ 1.15 billion, at the second, in 2021, the repayment by the Taiwanese businessman (Mr. Tsai also has Canadian citizenship) of the remaining securities for $ 1.15 billion. That is, in total Mr. Prokhorov will receive $ 2.3 billion for the club.
Mikhail Prokhorov became the owner of "Brooklyn" in 2009. Then a deal was made to buy him 80% stake in the club and 45% stake in his new stadium Barclays Center in New York (where he moved in 2012 from New Jersey) from an American businessman Bruce Ratner for $ 223 million In 2015, Mr. Prokhorov bought from Mr. Ratner remaining at that stake in the club and Barclays Center and became the sole owner of both the team and the arena. The amount of money the Russian businessman paid for the deal was not reported, but experts estimated the club together with the stadium at $ 1.7 billion.
It is noteworthy that Mikhail Prokhorov soon began searching for a buyer for the club. You can understand it, because, despite significant infusions in strengthening the team, its results remained unsatisfactory. Under Mikhail Prokhorov, "Brooklyn" only managed to reach the play-off three times and only once, in 2014, overcame the starting round. However, to refuse from Barclays Center, which is not only a home for Nets, but also the home ground of the National Hockey League club "New York Islanders" and the venue of many other entertaining events, Mr. Prokhorov did not intend to. This, in all likelihood, led to the fact that the search for a buyer lasted for so long - as a rule, NBA clubs are much quicker to find a buyer. Apparently, Mr. Prokhorov's patience was rewarded, and soon he will get rid of the damaging club, but at the same time he will keep a profitable stadium.