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Alibaba Founder Joseph Tsai Agrees to Buy 49% of Nets

28 October, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Carla Brady
  • Mikhail Prokhorov is nearing a deal to sell a minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets

The Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov will sell his 49 percent minority stake to Joseph Tsai, a Taiwanese billionaire and co-founder of Chinese e-commerce business, Alibaba, according to a report by ESPN.

Tsai will reportedly pay about $1.127 billion, based upon a $2.3 billion valuation of the franchise.

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.

A tech billionaire is on the verge of purchasing a 49 percent stake in the Brooklyn Nets, but he could take over controlling interest in the National Basketball Association franchise in several years.

Prokhorov, a Russian billionaire who amassed his fortune in precious metals, will remain the principal owner for the next four years. He went on to earn his vast wealth co-founding Alibaba, which in August had a net worth of $420 billion.

Mikhail Prokhorov is the current majority owner of the Nets. Prokhorov bought complete control of the Nets in 2015 after first purchasing a majority of shares in 2010.

Forbes estimates Tsai's net worth at $9.1 billion.

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.

The Nets and Barclays Center were valued at $875 million and $825 million, respectively, in that deal, according to Newsday.

Tsai has been pleased with how Nets general manager Sean Marks and coach Kenny Atkinson are running the team, and plans to bring worldwide business opportunities to the franchise through his connections throughout Asia, per the report.



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