Published: Sat, October 28, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Tech Billionaire Joseph Tsai Set To Purchase 49 Percent Stake In Nets

Tech Billionaire Joseph Tsai Set To Purchase 49 Percent Stake In Nets

The agreement values the Nets at $2.3 billion, ESPN reports.

Under the terms of the deal, Tsai would have the option to buy a controlling interest in the next few years, the sources said. Tsai has a personal net worth estimated at $9.1 billion, according to Forbes.

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. Onexim - a company controled by Prokhorov - bought the remaining 20 percent of the team and 55 percent of the arena in 2015.

The purchase price will be based upon a $2.3 billion valuation of the team.

The Nets last made the playoffs in 2015, losing to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.

The first non-North American owner of an National Basketball Association team, Prokhorov, at his introductory press conference in 2010, said the Nets would win a championship within five years. That record was broken with Tilman Fertita's $2.2 billion purchase of the Houston Rockets earlier this year, and falls again with this sale. Prokhorov has a net worth of $11.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. And he backed his boasts with big-money acquisitions and trades for veterans like Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Deron Williams.

The Nets and Barclays Center were valued at $875 million and $825 million, respectively, in that deal, according to Newsday. With a high payroll and poor record, Brooklyn reportedly lost over $44 million last season.

Tsai, who has formally expressed his support for the team's new general manager, Sean Marks, and coach Kenny Atkinson, reportedly plans to help with efforts to turn the team around.

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