Nets will sell 49 percent stake to Alibaba co-founder

28 October, 2017, 01:01 | Author: Nora May
  • Joseph Tsai

Bloomberg reports that Tsai purchased 49% of the team from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov. Current owner Mikhail Prokhorov is expected to retain control of the team until then.

The agreement gives Tsai the right to buy the remaining stake of the team in 2021, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal hasn't been announced.

They finished with the NBA's worst record past year at 20-62, but have won three of their first five games this season, including a win over the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers.

Despite efforts to bring in profits through low payrolls and increased ticket sales, the Nets have been consistently losing money for the National Basketball Association since they moved to Brooklyn from New Jersey in 2012.

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The sale does not include the Barclays Center. That purchase from real estate developer Bruce Ratner's Forest City Enterprises Inc. valued the team at $875 million and the building at $825 million, including debt.

Tsai's wife and children live in La Jolla, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, and the couple donated $1 million to the La Jolla Music Society toward construction of the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center.

The deal, which values the franchise at $2.3 billion, includes the option for Tsai to take over controlling interest of the Nets in several years, according to the report. They didn't. The Nets haven't had a winning season since the 2013-14 campaign, finishing last season with a 20-62 record.

Tsai reportedly "expressed enthusiasm" over the Nets rebuilding direction with general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson.

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