Billionaire Joseph Tsai has finalised a deal that makes him the sole owner of the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, the team announced on Friday.
Tsai, 55, already owned 49 per cent of the Nets, which he bought for $1billion last year.
Reports this week said he is buying the remaining 51 per cent from Mikhail Prokhorov for $1.35billion, valuing the franchise at $2.35billion.
The deal must be approved by the NBA’s board of governors and is expected to be completed by the end of September, the franchise said.
“I’ve had the opportunity to witness up close the Brooklyn Nets rebuild that Mikhail started a few years ago,” Tsai – worth an estimated $9.7billion according to Forbes – said in a statement.
Official: Mikhail Prokhorov to sell controlling interest in Brooklyn Nets and full ownership of Barclays Center to Joe Tsai https://t.co/71RhUCI60u
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) August 16, 2019
“He hired a front office and coaching staff focused on player development, he supported the organisation with all his resources, and he refused to tank.
“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.”
Tsai’s deal for the Nets would represent the largest price paid for a United States sports team in history, surpassing the $2.2billion purchases of the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Rockets.
Last season, Brooklyn finished with a 42-40 record but have renewed hope because of huge off-season acquisitions of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
Durant signed a four-year, $164million deal with the team, while Irving signed a four-year, $141m deal.