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Alibaba Co-Founder Joe Tsai To Take Sole Ownership Of Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center

Alibaba Co-Founder Joe Tsai To Take Sole Ownership Of Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center

Joe Tsai, co-founder of the Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA), will be the sole owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and the team’s arena.

What Happened

The league and team announced Friday that Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov will sell the remaining 51% interest in the team to Tsai, who purchased 49% of the Nets in 2018. Tsai will also buy the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where the Nets play.

The $2.35-billion price for the team, not including the arena, is the largest purchase price for an American sports team, according to ESPN. 

Didn't Tank

Tsai praised Prokhorov’s effort to rebuild a strong basketball product in Brooklyn.

“He hired a front office and coaching staff focused on player development, he supported the organization with all his resources and he refused to tank,” Tsai said in a statement released by the league.

“I will be the beneficiary of Mikhail’s vision, which put the Nets in a great position to compete, and for which I am incredibly grateful.”

Prokhorov’s ownership of the Barclays Center and controlling interest in the team were held through his company, Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc.

What's Next

The team said the transaction is expected to close by the end of September. Tsai will be the chairman of the board of Barclays Center, and NBA governor of the Nets and its affiliates.

The deal still needs approval of the NBA Board of Governors.

Prokhorov oversaw the completion of the Nets’ move from New Jersey to Brooklyn after buying the team from real estate developer Bruce Ratner about a decade ago. He bought the Barclays Center in 2012.

An investment group led by Tsai also recently purchased the New York Liberty, which plays in the women’s professional WNBA basketball league, from James Dolan.

Related Links :

Alibaba's Joseph Tsai Explains Affected Revenues

Analyst: Why Jim Dolan Could Sell The New York Knicks

Photo by Ajay Suresh/Wikimedia


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