Joseph Tsai, the Taiwanese-Canadian co-founder of e-commerce giant Alibaba, is set to become the sole owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets after acquiring the franchise for a total signing deal of $2.35 billion.
The 55-year-old businessman already owns 49% of the team after he bought the share last year for $1 billion. However, unnamed sources told the New York Post that Tsai is now close to signing the deal to buy the remaining 51% from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov for $1.35 billion.
Tsai reportedly locked in the right to buy the remaining half of the share before the 2021-2022 basketball season when he bought the 49% share last year. This would expedite the purchase if the businessman signs the deal two seasons early.
This marks the highest-paid sports franchise, beating last year’s top purchase made by David Tepper when he bought the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Tilman Fertitta’s $2.2 billion acquisition of the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 2017.
Tsai, who Forbes estimates to be worth $9.9 billion, was also in talks in March to buy the Barclays Center, according to the report.
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