Mikhail Prokhorov has denied it in the past, but rumors of his interest to cash in early on his investment in the Brooklyn Nets ($223 million) and Barclays Center (built for roughly $1 billion) persist.
According to multiple published reports, Prokhorov and Guggenheim Sports and Entertainment Assets (owners of the LA Dodgers) have had ongoing discussions about a potential sale of the Russian’s majority stake in the franchise.
The high-spending Nets reportedly lost $144 million in basketball-related business last season — $131 million more than the next highest team. In 2014-‘15, Brooklyn could be on the hook for about $130 million in luxury taxes and payroll.
Per Nets Daily and ESPN:
In the discussions, the team is being valued at $1.7 billion and the arena at $1.1 billion, said multiple sources. There is no agreement yet, nor a deadline for a conclusion of the discussions. The next step would be an agreement in principle followed by a closing. The combined assets of a new entity could be as high as $8 billion.
The first source emphasized that Prokhorov would continue to control the team as “governor and controlling owner” of the team “for the foreseeable future.” Prokhorov currently owns 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the arena, with [Brett] Ratner’s Nets Sports & Entertainment owning the remaining share of the team and the majority share in the arena. Presumably, in a combined entity, both Prokhorov and Ratner’s shares would be reduced, but still be controlling.
Dodgers Chairman and Guggenheim CEO Mark Walter said: “I am the controlling owner of the Dodgers and I have no intention of selling the Dodgers or moving them into a new ownership group.” […] Walter acknowledged that he had not seen the Nets financials but “they are a terrific franchise and I would be happy to look at their information and any proposal anyone wanted to make to me — as I would with any proposal.”