Mikhail Prokhorov, Russian Billionaire, Buys the Nets
According to a Nets press release, Prokhorov's investment vehicle Onexim will take an 80% stake in the Nets, a 45% stake in the Barclays Center (the Nets' unbuilt Brooklyn home) and an option for a 20% stake in Ratner's Atlantic Yards development. Prokorov will pay $200 million to get into the league, and it has been reported that he will put $700 million toward the construction of Barclays.
Prokhorov is said to be the wealthiest man in Russia. He made his fortune like all good Russian ingenues: natural resources. Nickel was his mineral of choice, and Forbes has reported Prokhorov is worth $9.5 billion. Among NBA owners, only Portland's Paul Allen ($16 billion) is richer.
The Nets' release marks the first quarter of 2010 as a tentative date for the closing of the deal. Twenty-two of the other 29 NBA owners must approve the sale before it can be consummated. An NBA official says the vote could take place as soon as the league's October meeting.
Ratner hopes to break ground on Barclays this December. The Nets hope to open the 2011-12 season in Brooklyn.
Be sure to follow FanHouse for more on the Prokhorov purchase.