Joe Tsai, the Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Corp., has bought stake in the Brooklyn Nets in a deal valued at $2.3 billion. According to the reports of news site Bloomberg News, the Vice Chairman bought 49% of the team – Brooklyn Nets – from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
Tsai’s deal values the team at $2.3 billion
The deal by the executive of the ecommerce giant values the team at a whopping $2.3 billion. Bloomberg reports that the deal gives the Alibaba Vice Chairman the right to purchase the rest of the team in 2021. In addition to this, the Russian billionaire Prokhorov has the right to keep a 20% stake in the Brooklyn Nets, according to Bloomberg, which cites sources that wanted to remain anonymous because the mentioned deal has not been announced yet.
However, the value does not include the Barclays Center where the NBA team plays in Brooklyn. The NBA team was valued at only $1.8 billion, according to the most recent valuations of Forbes Magazine. Also, the Russian billionaire was the first non-North American owner of an NBA team.
According to a report by Forbes, the executive of the China-based e-commerce company has a net worth of over $10.7 billion. In addition to this, he purchased the expansion team of the National Lacrosse League recently as well.
Alibaba earlier denied that Tsai was in talks to buy the NBA team
However, the online retailer denied earlier this month that its Vice Chairman was in talks to purchase a stake in the Brooklyn Nets. In an interview to Reuters, Alibaba spokeswoman Jennifer Kuperman said at the time that it was false and “Joe Tsai has never talked to the seller and he is not purchasing any stake in the Brooklyn Nets.”
The NBA team has refused to comment on the matter. The value of $100 million is certainly more than the Houston Rockets. Last month, Tilman Fertitta paid the record $2.2 billion for the Houston Rockets. The deal for the Houston Rockets included operational control of the arena of the team as well. The report by ESPN, which reported this news before other news sites, said, “Mikhail Prokhorov will remain principal and operating owner of the Nets for an additional four years, with a presumption that he will sell his majority stake upon the triggering of Tsai’s option, league sources said.”