Bruce Ratner Rumors
The sale of the Brooklyn Nets has stalled because Mikhail Prokhorov is trying get a $3 billion valuation for the team and Barclays Center while keeping a controlling interest in the NBA team. The Russian billionaire controls 80% of the team and 45% of the arena while Bruce Ratner controls 20% and 55%, respectively. Prokhorov wants to keep 51% of the Nets after any sale. Prokhorov’s terms have been confirmed by two sources who did not want to be mentioned because they do not have permission to speak about the deal discussion publicly. Three weeks ago I wrote that people were telling me Prokhorov only wanted to sell a minority interest. But at that time I wasn’t sure of the valuation he was seeking or the percent ownership he wanted to maintain.
What is your opinion on Mikhail Prokhorov’s ownership of the Nets, presuming he does sell the team in the short-term as some expect, and would the league be interested in more foreign owners? Adam Silver: Yes, the league would always be open to more international owners. He’s been a great owner. I know he would have liked to have spent more time in Brooklyn, but the situation back in Russia, especially over the last year, hasn’t allowed him to travel as much as he hoped. He engaged in somewhat of a high-risk, high-reward strategy by becoming a large (luxury) taxpayer, but that’s permissible under our system. It took them into the second round of the playoffs last year, and I know his goal has been to win championships, so I’m sure he’s somewhat frustrated. But I know when you look at what he and Bruce Ratner have done in Brooklyn by successfully completing that building, by making the move from New Jersey, from that standpoint it’s been spectacular. As you and I know as New Yorkers, that arena is a permanent fixture of this community, and not only is there for basketball events but is practically full year round including the circus and concerts and other events, as well. So if he did decide to sell, I think he would be leaving an enormous legacy here in New York.
SportsBusiness Journal also noted that Barclays Center earns more than $30 million annually, and banking sources told the publication that the arena’s value is approximately $750 million. A source had told ESPN.com that the Nets were asking $1.1 billion for Barclays Center, so $350 million more than that valuation.
Brooklyn Nets minority owner Bruce Ratner is putting his majority share of Barclays Center on the market. “Our goal is to identify a strategic partner as we continue to capitalize on the great performance of Barclays Center and the promise of Nassau Coliseum,” Barclays Center spokesman Barry Baum said in a statement. “The current management team [Ratner and Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark] will continue in its existing role.”
The source described the meeting — which Nets minority owner Bruce Ratner and chief executive officer Brett Yormark also attended — as “exploratory” in nature. The source said Prokhorov held the meeting to look into ways to expand his sports and entertainment portfolio, which, along with the Nets, includes Barclays Center, Nassau Coliseum and the sales and marketing operations of the Islanders. The source said that any deal that is made with another group would be a “merger and not a sale” and that nothing is imminent.