HoopsHype Mikhail Prokhorov rumors


January 15, 2015 Updates

A Bloomberg report, citing two sources, said Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has retained Evercore Partners to sell the National Basketball Association team he bought in 2010 for $223 million. "As we have said for many months, ownership is always open to listening to offers – that’s just good business," Prokhorov spokeswoman Ellen Pinchuk said in an email to Reuters. "There is nothing imminent in terms of a sale of any stake in the team." Reuters

In short, I’d expect to see the Nets sell for between $1.5-2 billion…leaving our Russian billionaire with enough bills to lick the wounds from failing to deliver on his promise to net a championship in Brooklyn within his self-set 5-year timeline. Rather than a championship in Year 5, he’ll just walk away with a consolation prize of hundreds of millions of dollars (even after taxes) for no other reason than simply being fortunate enough to be in the right place (NBA owner at the helm as the team moves into one of the nicest facilities in the sport) at the right time (after the league triples their TV money and after Ballmer went $2 billion large for the Clippers). Forbes.com

January 13, 2015 Updates

The feeling in the NBA is Prokhorov will ultimately unload his entire 80 percent of the Nets, despite the denials. But there won’t be much movement until the sale of the Hawks, who are at the stage of touring potential buyers for a 100 percent sale. Further predictions on Prokhorov’s timeline require cracking the mysteries of an unavailable owner. New York Daily News

There are certainly reasons Prokhorov would want to sell the Nets, aside from not having the time to enjoy them. According to Ukranian-born Marlen Kruzhkov, a New York-based attorney and advisor to Russian oligarchs, it is “well-known that Prokhorov has a large chunk of Western debt due in the near future.” There were also estimations, according to Kruzkhov, that the global economic drop of December prompted Prokhorov to lose $400 million in just one day. New York Daily News

By selling the Nets, he'd obtain much-needed cash from an asset valuated for over $1 billion. “The Ruble went down 45 percent in 2014,” Kruzhkov told the Daily News. “What that means is the cost of servicing debt just went up 45 percent. So you’re making your money in Rubles, but you’re paying your debt in dollars. You’re losing a lot of money in the transfer. That, coupled with the (U.S.) sanctions that have cut off a lot of banks from creditors in the West, it’s forcing people to re-think their position in terms of which businesses do I keep versus which businesses do I sacrifice." New York Daily News

“He’d want to make sure that his Western holdings are particularly secure and particularly healthy,” Kruzhkov said. “Regardless of their record and their salary cap, the Nets, from an investment standpoint, are a very healthy thing. The Nets are a phenomenal Western investment. You can borrow money against them. You have all sorts of possibilities. And it also gives him a real aura of legitimacy in the Western world.” New York Daily News

Chris Broussard: Nets are denying report that Mikhail Prokhorov has put the team up for sale. Quote from Nets ownership: "As we have said for many months, ownership is always open to listening to offers – that’s just good business. There is nothing imminent in terms of a sale of any stake in the team." I'm not reporting Nets not selling; I'm reporting Nets are DENYING report, specifically Brett Yormark, Barry Baum & GM Billy King. Twitter @Chris_Broussard

Prokhorov, 49, the first foreign owner of an NBA team, holds 80 percent of the club and 45 percent of the Barclays Center, its 2 1/2-year-old arena which next season will house hockey’s New York Islanders. Only the team is for sale, the people said. Bloomberg

“It’s a unique asset which is going to garner national and international interest,” said Sal Galatioto, founder of New York-based advisory firm Galatioto Sports Partners, which has sold NBA teams including the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns. Galatioto declined to put a price tag on the team, which valuations expert Peter Schwartz said is worth about $1.3 billion. The arena is worth even more, said Schwartz, a managing director at Boston-based Christie & Associates, adding that the commodity tycoon’s combined stake is worth about $2 billion. Bloomberg

Mikhail Prokhorov has retained Evercore Partners to manage the sale of the NBA franchise he bought in 2010, according to Bloomberg, citing two sources with knowledge of the situation. Prokhorov, the 49-year-old Russian billionaire, owns an 80-percent stake in the team, which is valued at $1.3 billion, according to an expert quoted in the Bloomberg report. But the sale price could exceed the $2 billion that Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer shelled out last year to purchase the LA Clippers. New York Post

Mike Mazzeo: Statement from Prokhorov's spokesperson: "As we have said for many months, ownership is always open to offers -- that's just good biz. There is nothing imminent in terms of a sale of any stake in the team." #Nets Twitter @MazzESPN

Russia’s ruble has weakened against the dollar. Declining oil prices put the country on the brink of recession, while sanctions, introduced by Western countries against some of the largest Russian companies, increased concerns about its ability to service its external debt. Putin last year said Russian businessmen “need to understand their responsibility” during a meeting with the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. He called for Russian-owned companies to register and to pay taxes in Russia. “Given the recent speculation that Mr. Prokhorov might sell his interest in light of the slumping Eastern European economies this is certainly an interesting development,” said Chuck Baker, head of sports mergers and acquisition as a partner in DLA Piper’s Global Sports, Media and Entertainment practice. Bloomberg

December 31, 2014 Updates
December 16, 2014 Updates

"Teams around the league say they haven't received any trade calls and they see this as an indication that Prokhorov is back to selling the team, particularly since he's trying to move three of the biggest contracts on their roster," he says in a Bucher Buzz segment. He explains, "This for the uninitiated is what teams do. It's what the Memphis Grizzlies did, what the Detroit Pistons did. Any team looking to sell. One, there's not a lot of overhead. Two, they start with a blank slate. They get to create a team the way they see fit." NetsDaily

November 20, 2014 Updates

He has barely spoken about the terms of his departure and wasn't comfortable having to do it Wednesday. He said he had spoken to some Nets players since he left and was asked about last month's comments from owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who said the team made the trade with the Bucks because: "There is a nice proverb in English: Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord has split you." "I thought it was a great quote. I've heard it before, so was it something new? No," Kidd said. Boston Herald

November 6, 2014 Updates

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