Alibaba Co-Founder Joseph Tsai to Buy 49% of the Brooklyn Nets

Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai is reportedly in talks to purchase a 49% stake in the Brooklyn Nets.

Based on the said agreement, the Taiwanese-Canadian mogul will also have the option to purchase a controlling interest in the NBA organization in four years. Should Tsai decides to pursue it, current majority owner Mikhail Prokhorov will reportedly cede the controlling stake, according to ESPN.

The agreement, which places the Nets’ value at a record valuation of $2.3 billion, excludes Barclays Center—the team’s home arena in Brooklyn, which Prokhorov is also a majority shareholder of. Prokhorov initially purchased a majority of shares of the Nets in 2010 before acquiring controlling stake in the club five years after. While he remains majority stakeholder, Prokhorov’s team will still continue managing the team’s operations.

The report further noted that Tsai has “expressed enthusiasm” about the organization’s plans to use his “strong Asian business ties” to improve the Nets’ financial outlook. Based on NBA’s figures, the Nets suffered a loss of about $23.5 million in operating income during the 2016-17 season.

Tsai who was born in Taipei, Taiwan, established Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group in 1999 with Jack Ma. With a net worth estimated at $8.8 billion, the 53-year-old businessman is currently ranked 250th on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest billionaires.

Aiming to redeem themselves from last season’s not so impressive 20-62 record, the Nets are now trying to grab some more wins in their current 2017-18 campaign following a rocky 3 wins-2 losses start.

Feature image via Youtube/MilkenInstitute

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