Brooklyn Nets minority owner Joseph Tsai is reportedly set to purchase the remaining 51 percent of the team he does not own from majority owner, and Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov.
Tsai is set to buy the remaining stake for $2.35 billion and the deal could be announced as early as later this week, the New York Post reported Tuesday.
Tsai, who co-founded the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, bought 49 percent of the team for $1 billion last year and gained the right to buy the remaining stake before the 2021-22 season for around $1.35 billion, according to the New York Post. Should he make the reported deal, he would be buying the remaining 51 percent two seasons early.
It was not immediately clear why Tsai will purchase the remaining stake for $1 billion more than the original $1.35 billion.
According to Forbes, Prokhorov paid $365 million in 2010 for 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the Barclays Center operating rights. In 2015, he bought the remaining stakes in the franchise and the arena at about $1.7 billion.
Prokhorov is worth an estimated $9.8 billion. He made a majority of his money from the sale of the Russian mining and smelting company Nornickel. He also owns stakes in Russia’s power, insurance and banking sectors, according to Forbes.
The Nets are worth $2.4 billion, according to a Forbes valuation from February, which makes them the sixth most valuable team in the NBA despite never having won a championship.
Brooklyn is expected to be one of the most entertaining teams in the upcoming NBA season.
The team signed marquee free agents Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and DeAndre Jordan in the offseason. Irving will be the starting point guard while Durant may miss the entire season due to an Achilles injury he suffered during the playoffs with the Golden State Warriors.