Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Alibaba's Tsai nears deal to buy rest of NBA's Brooklyn Nets

What you need to know about the Nets’ 2019-20 schedule What you need to know about the Nets’ 2019-20 schedule
Shannon Reynolds | 17 August, 2019, 03:43

Joseph Tsai is finalizing a deal to buy the Nets at a $2.35 billion valuation, the New York Post reports.

The price would the highest ever paid for a sports franchise, topping the $2.2 billion price tags that were recently paid for the Carolina Panthers and Houston Rockets.

Tsai, who co-founded the Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba, bought 49 percent of the team for $1 billion previous 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.

The deal, likely to be announced this week according to the New York Post, will involve Tsai taking over the team in full from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

Nets representatives declined to comment.

However, the Post reported in March that Tsai was in talks to buy Barclays as well as the new Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

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It was not immediately clear why Tsai will purchase the remaining stake for $1 billion more than the original $1.35 billion.

A native of Taiwan, Tsai is worth an estimated $9.9 billion after he co-founded Alibaba, the Chinese equivalent to Amazon.

The sale comes at a good time for the Nets, who have struggled to turn a profit since before they moved across the Hudson River from New Jersey in 2012.

Tsai's acquisition of the Nets precedes the upcoming 2019-2020 National Basketball Association season starting in October where the Nets are now a force to be reckoned with in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Tsai is a member of NBA China, which conducts league business in that country, even though he doesn't yet control a team.

During the off-season, the Nets added All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to the team.

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