A Taiwanese Billionaire Is Reportedly Buying 49 Percent Of The Brooklyn Nets

Arnold Nichols
October 28, 2017

Today, Alibaba co-founder and executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai settled an agreement to purchase a large minority stake in the Brooklyn basketball team, ESPN reported. The purchase price will be based on the $2.3 billion value of the team.

Tsai, 53, now serves as executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, the ecommerce giant that posted $23 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. The report said the deal also includes an option for Tsai to acquire a controlling interest in several years.

In the meantime, Mikhail Prokhorov, who bought the then-New Jersey Nets in 2010, will remain the team's principal and operating owner.

They finished with the NBA's worst record previous year at 20-62, but have won three of their first five games this season, including a win over the Eastern Conference champion Cavaliers. Initially it looked as if the Nets valuation would be less than the Houston Rockets' $2.2 billion sale. Prokhorov could then sell his majority stake when Tsai's option is triggered, according to ESPN.

The team is worth is worth $1.8 billion, seventh in the 30-team National Basketball Association, according to Forbes magazine's most recent valuations.

The Nets last made the playoffs in 2015, losing in the first round to the Atlanta Hawks after a sub-.500 regular season. Prokhorov has a net worth of $11.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Without the Barclays Center, the deal hinges on whether or not the Nets can be successful financially.

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

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