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Russian owner of NBA Brooklyn Nets Prokhorov says ‘happy’ with 49-percent stake sale

The sale of the 49% stake was unanimously approved by the NBA Board of Governors last Thursday
Mikhail Prokhorov Artiom Korotaev/TASS
Mikhail Prokhorov
© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS, Andrey Kartashov/. Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov told TASS he "was happy" about how the deal to sell a 49% stake in the National Basketball Association (NBA) Brooklyn Nets club went through last week.

Brooklyn Nets’ press service announced in a statement on April 12 that Prokhorov had sold a 49% interest in his NBA Brooklyn Nets basketball club to billionaire Joe Tsai, an executive vice president and co-founder of China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group.

"I’m very happy with the way the deal played out," Prokhorov said in an interview with TASS. "It’s allowed me to realize the value of the asset while still remaining the majority owner of the team."

"I remain committed to the team and believe wholeheartedly in the path for development that we have chosen," Prokhorov added.

The sale of the 49% stake was unanimously approved by the NBA Board of Governors last Thursday, while the sum of the deal was not disclosed. Various media reports estimated NBA Brooklyn Nets at $2.3 billion, which suggests that Prokhorov gained $1.1 billion from the deal.

Prokhorov remains the controlling owner of Brooklyn Nets at least until 2021, as according to the deal, Joe Tsai has a purchase option for further shares that year. The deal did not cover the club’s home arena, Barclays Center, which is owned by Prokhorov.

Russian billionaire and former presidential candidate Prokhorov, 52, bought the then New Jersey Nets in 2010 and 45% of the shares in Barclays Center for $223 million and later relocated the club to Brooklyn, which has a large Russian-speaking population.

He owned 80% of the Brooklyn Nets and 45% of Barclays Center until December 2015, when he gained full control of the team and the sports arena. According to Bloomberg reports at that time, the Russian tycoon paid an additional $875 million in December 2015 for the club and $825 million for Barclays Center.