The NBA has approved a sale that will make Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov the sole owner of both the Nets and Barclays Center, Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick first reported.
Prokhorov, who bought the Nets in 2010, previously owned 80% of the team and 45% of Barclays Center. Real estate developer Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises owned the remaining 20% and 55% of the Nets and arena, respectively.
According to the report in Bloomberg, Prokhorov and Ratner’s agreement is estimated to be $400 million. The agreement reportedly values the Nets at $1.9 billion.
Ratner was one of the key players in moving the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn, and was involved in the team for 12 years. From SB Nation’s blog NetsDaily:
Ratner’s parent company, Forest City Enterprises, is converting to a real estate investment trust (REIT) on January 1 which limits the types of assets it can control. Neither a basketball team nor an arena fits the REIT model.
League sources told The Daily News that they are sceptical about Prokhorov’s future as owner now that he owns 100% of the team:
League sources are sceptical about Prokhorov’s desire to keep all these assets, however, given his attempts — and failures — over the last two years to sell off shares. The Nets and Prokhorov have always insisted he wants to keep control of the Nets, but buying out Ratner makes it easier to set his price and divest the team. There have been rumours of Prokhorov being in financial problems because of the plummeting Ruble, and he cut Brooklyn’s salary drastically over the last two years to avoid luxury tax penalties.
Similarly, NetsDaily writes that Prokhorov may try to sell a minority stake of as much as 49%, but that he has not been marketing that stake.
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