Rus­sian Bil­lion­aire Mikhail Prokhorov to Sell the Brook­lyn Nets

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By: Benyamin David­sons

Mikhail Prokhorov, the Rus­sian bil­lion­aire who owns the Bar­clay Cen­ter as well as the Brook­lyn Nets, has been on the look­out since Novem­ber for an in­vestor to take on a share in the arena as well as the NBA team. Now, af­ter be­ing un­able to sell a mi­nor­ity stake, Prokhorov has de­cided to un­load the team al­to­gether, agree­ing to re­lin­quish his con­trol­ling stake. As per the NY Post, the 52-year-old is seek­ing roughly $2 bil­lion for the Nets. The sale, as per Prokhorov's plan should con­sist of two phases. He would still like to first sell a mi­nor­ity share, and then de­liver full con­trol in a few sea­sons. There is a catch, how­ever. The sale will not in­clude the Bar­clay Cen­ter, which he wishes to keep.

Forbes val­ued the Nets at $1.8 bil­lion in Fe­bru­ary. The Bar­clays Cen­ter ac­counts for over $551 mil­lion of that to­tal. The ac­tual Brook­lyn Nets brand is val­ued at only at $186 mil­lion. Just be­ing in the NBA in the New York area ac­counts for more than a $1 bil­lion of the team's value. This ex­plains the irony of how the Nets are one of the most valu­able NBA fran­chises, de­spite con­cur­rently be­ing one of the least prof­itable.

The Bar­clay cen­ter is a money mak­ing arena. It is con­sid­ered among the world's top-gross­ing con­cert venues. This month Ed Sheeran and Paul McCart­ney have con­certs sched­uled which will fill to ca­pac­ity and charge high ticket prices, un­like the Nets games. The Nets have re­cently re­newed their lease at Bar­clays with a clause al­low­ing the team to pay less rent.

Last sea­son, the Nets com­piled the worst record in the NBA. Fur­ther, the Nets are ex­pected to lose money next sea­son. Prokhorov ac­quired the team in 2010, and took con­trol of 100 per­cent stake in the team in 2015. When he first bought the team, he haugh­tily promised that within five years he would bring them an NBA ti­tle. It was a prom­ise he could not de­liver, and he is clearly dis­ap­pointed.

The re­cent sale of the NBA's Hous­ton Rock­ets for $2.2 bil­lion to Til­man Fer­titta must be em­bold­en­ing Prokhorov to be­lieve he could sell the Nets for $2 bil­lion. The Rock­ets were at least a prof­itable team. Po­ten­tial in­vestors, which will likely be Wall Street types, will await de­tails of the new Nets Bar­clay lease, as well as info on rev­enue the team will re­ceive from spon­sor­ships and suite rentals. Time will tell if point guard D'An­gelo Rus­sell, who was traded in from the L.A. Lak­ers this June, will add value to the team.

Mikhail Prokhorov, the Rus­sian bil­lion­aire who owns the Bar­clays Cen­ter as well as the Brook­lyn Nets, has been on the look­out since Novem­ber for an in­vestor to take on a share in the arena as well as the NBA team

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