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

Jessica Allison
October 28, 2017

The report said the deal also includes an option for Tsai to acquire a controlling interest in several years.

Forbes estimates Tsai's net worth at $9.1 billion. At the time, that was the second-largest sale valuation of an National Basketball Association franchise, eclipsed only by Steve Ballmer's $2 billion purchase of the Clippers.

The $2.3 billion valuation is a major win for Prokhorov, who originally bought an 80 percent share in the team and a 45 percent share in Barclays Center for $223 million in 2010, although he had to assume $160 million in debt in the agreement. The Nets were valued at $2.3 billion for the sale.

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.

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The Nets last made the playoffs in 2015, losing to the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Restaurant and casino magnate Tilman Fertitta bought the Houston Rockets for a record $2.2 billion in a deal that was finalized earlier this month. Current owner Mikhail Prokhorov is expected to retain control of the team until then.

The Nets never did become title contenders, but those deals would hamstring the team for years. Prokhorov has a net worth of $11.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. With a high payroll and poor record, Brooklyn reportedly lost over $44 million last season.

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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