76ers CEO says the Brooklyn Nets will sell for $1.5 billion

Mikhail Prokhorov is selling the Brooklyn Nets and if Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil is correct, the Russian tycoon is going to make an even bigger killing than people thought.

O’Neil was a guest on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers” when he was asked how much he thinks the Nets will sell for.

“I think they go for $US1.4, $US1.5 billion,” O’Neill answered. “[the exact amount] depends on what’s included, what the lease looks like, how much of the arena you get. There is a whole bunch of different factors. But I would say, given the current set up, the current structure now, $US1.5-ish [billion].”

When asked about why the Nets would sell for less than the $US2 billion Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers, O’Neil simply said that $US1.5 billion is “a pretty healthy price,” suggesting that the Clippers’ price was more of an outlier, and then joked that he hopes the Nets sells for $US3 billion.

O’Neil’s target is higher than other valuations of the Nets. One valuations expert recently told Bloomberg the Nets are worth $US1.3 billion. In Forbes’ most recent NBA franchise valuations, the Nets value was nearly doubled from $US780 million to $US1.5 billion.

Either way, if the Clippers price was an outlier, it may not have been that much of an exaggeration, especially in light of the new $US2.66 billion television deal the NBA signed with ESPN and Turner.

Even if the eventual sale price is at the low end of the valuations, Prokhorov is going to cash-out big time on his initial $US200 million investment he made just five years ago.

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