Tsai, the co-founder and vice chair of Alibaba, became the new owner of the Nets on Friday in a deal that cost $2.35 billion over two years— the most ever paid for a sports team. The median value of an NBA team today is about $1.75 billion, sports bankers said, which means Tsai paid a hefty premium even though the Nets barely make a profit. Tsai, 55, went forward with the deal anyway because he wanted a New York City team and it was the only one for sale, a source familiar with his thinking said.
More Rumors in this Storyline
Tsai is also banking on the NBA’s international growth, especially in China where he has deep ties, sources said. In just one sign of how hot China is getting for the NBA, tech company Tencent Holdings last month announced a five-year expansion of its existing digital media partnership with the basketball league. And it agreed to pay $1.5 billion for the rights — or triple the previous price of $500 million, a source said. China’s demand for the NBA — and the Nets specifically — could grow exponentially if Tsai were to recruit a Chinese player, which he has said he wants to do. “I think it’s just a matter of time,” he told Netsdaily.com in May.
In addition to the team, Tsai also forked over $700 million for the Barclays Center arena, the Nets’ home since they moved to Brooklyn. Because the arena also comes with $325 million in debt, the total cost to Tsai sits at $3.38 billion, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction.
NetsDaily: League source: the final sale price of the Nets and Barclays Center is $3.5 billion. Prokhorov paid $223 million and agreed to take on $160 million in debt for 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the arena a decade ago.
Joseph Tsai is closing in on an agreement to purchase the controlling interest in the Brooklyn Nets from majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov, sources confirmed to ESPN. The deal, which is expected to be completed by the end of the week, would value the team at $2.35 billion — making it the largest purchase price of an American professional sports team, surpassing the $2.2 billion paid by David Tepper to buy the Carolina Panthers and by Tilman Fertitta to buy the Houston Rockets.
Joseph Tsai, the billionaire co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is close to signing a deal to buy the 51 percent of the Brooklyn Nets he does not already own from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, sources told The 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.
Forbes estimates Tsai — the vice chair of Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent of Amazon — is worth $9.9 billion. The Taiwan native is known to speak positively of the Chinese government, sources said. But that is actually a plus for the NBA, which is seeking to grow its presence in China, sources have told The Post. Tsai is a member of NBA China, which conducts league business in that country, even though he doesn’t yet control a team.
While he also holds an option to purchase control in 2021 — a source told The Post it’s for the entire remaining 51 percent — reports have suggested he might buy a share of Barclays Center from Mikhail Prokhorov as well. “I don’t know [if that will happen],” Tsai said. “But I would say this: If you talk to all the NBA owners, they all say it makes a lot of sense to combine the ownership of a team and the arena. There’s a lot of synergy. The fans do come into the building to watch the team play, so from a business standpoint it makes a lot of sense. I hope that I would have an opportunity. But it’s up to Mikhail Prokhorov, who owns the arena, to figure out what they want to do.”
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has completed the sale of a 49% interest in the Brooklyn Nets to Joe Tsai. Mr. Tsai is executive vice chairman and co-founder of Alibaba Group, a global internet company with businesses in e-commerce, cloud computing and digital entertainment.
The transaction provides Mr. Tsai an option to acquire further shares in 2021 and, if exercised, become the controlling owner of the team. The announced share sale does not include Barclays Center, which will continue to be wholly owned by Onexim Sports and Entertainment. The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the transaction.
Mr. Prokhorov, through Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., will continue to be the controlling owner and the NBA Governor of the team. There will be no changes in the day-to-day management of the team’s business or basketball operations.
As the Nets hard-fought game with the Warriors drew to a close, YES Network cameras caught Joe Tsai, about to become the Nets minority owner (and heir apparent), talking with Kenny Atkinson. Later, Tsai, a Taiwanese-Canadian citizen, was seen talking to Jeremy Lin, who’s of Taiwanese parentage and who Tsai has described as “my favorite player.”
Tsai, who has a home in LaJolla, California, sat courtside near the Nets bench with his family. It’s at least the third time he’s been seen at a Nets game since agreeing in principle to purchase 49.5 percent of the team from Mikhail Prokhorov. The reported price tag for the co-founder of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant: $1.13 billion. Under terms of the deal, as reported back in October, Tsai will assume ownership control of the Nets in 2022. Prokhorov would then become a minority stakeholder.
Multiple sources tell NetsDaily that the final deal between Mikhail Prokhorov and Joe Tsai is likely to be closed and announced in next week or so. As the deal was reported in late October, Tsai will pay $1.13 billion for 49 percent of the Nets with an option to take control in 2022. Prokhorov will retain 100 percent ownership of Barclays Center and the other venues his Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment controls including Nassau Coliseum.
Just last week, in a discussion of the Nets future with NetsDaily, GM Sean Marks noted, “We’re going to have to be patient, Mikhail’s going to have to be patient, Joe’s going to have to be patient, but by the end of the day, we all realize, ‘let’s build the foundation.’”
Nets officials have noted repeatedly over the last several months that Tsai, like Prokhorov, has bought into Marks long-term rebuild. In November, during a short back-and-forth between him and Bill Walton in Huangzhou, Tsai told the Hall of Famer that he expects his ownership to be “an interesting journey” and “a long-term project.” He also described Jeremy Lin, a Taiwanese-American, as his “favorite player.”
Nets Daily: Multiple sources say final deal between Mikhail Prokhorov and Joe Tsai likely to be closed and announced in next week or so. As reported back in October, Tsai will pay $1.1 bn for 49% of team with option to take control in 2022. The two owners have combined net worth of $23 bn
Nets Daily: Hearing that negotiations for sale of minority stake in Nets are active. Don’t know if imminent or who’s interested just that talks active.
Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is getting closer to selling the Brooklyn Nets, sources told The Post.
There are multiple suitors late in the process to buy a 49-percent stake in the struggling NBA team, along with the right to buy a larger stake and become the controlling owner in three years, sources told The Post. The sale does not include Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is ready for a long goodbye. The Russian billionaire, unable to sell a minority stake in the money-losing NBA franchise, now plans to off-load a controlling stake in the team, two sources close to the situation told The Post.
However, Prokhorov is hoping to sell the Nets in a two-part process, the sources said. First, the 52-year-old will look to sell a minority piece of the team — but give the buyer the right to buy the entire team in a short period of time — say three years, the sources said. “There will be a new owner in the next few years,” one of the sources said.
The Nets believe they can attract a selling price of at least $2 billion, especially after Tilman Fertitta agreed to buy the Rockets for $2.2 billion, sources said. The Rockets are profitable, however, and the Nets next season are still expected to lose money. There are interested buyers, including Wall Street types, who have been doing due diligence on the team, sources said.
Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai has expressed an interest in the team, a source told The Post, though reps for his family office, Blue Pool Capital, deny it.
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
August 19, 2019 | 1:43 am EDT Update
Fred Katz: The Wizards and former first-round pick Justin Anderson are working toward a training camp contract, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA .
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania breaks down the Lakers beginning pursuit of Dwight Howard and the factors of motivation and health for the 8-time All-Star.
Shams Charania: The Lakers have been patient in approach since Cousins’ injury, and another accomplished veteran center on the market is Joakim Noah. Howard is expected to be eventually released by Memphis.
The Pacers locker room chemistry, which had been a strength, suffered without Oladipo. The drama surrounding Tyreke Evans, who is now serving a two-year suspension from the league over violating the drug policy, contributed as well. He was on the verge of being cut on several occasions until vets Young, Joseph and Collison stepped in, a league source said. Young spoke openly about giving Evans guidance.
There also was an unhappiness with younger players wanting more of a chance while coach Nate McMillan stuck with older ones, multiple league sources told IndyStar. This kind of friction happens, especially with so many players on expiring contracts entering free agency.
U.S.A. Basketball officials were stunned Saturday morning to learn that De’Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings had chosen to remove his name from consideration for the final 12-man roster mere hours before the team’s flight to Australia for three more exhibition games and a handful of practices.