Report: Joseph Tsai to Buy All Remaining Nets Shares for Record Total of $2.35B

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2019

Joe Tsai, co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group and the new owner of the New York Liberty, speaks to reporters during a news conference before a WNBA exhibition basketball game between the New York Liberty and China, Thursday, May 9, 2019 in New York. Tsai saw the team's exhibition game against the Chinese national team Thursday night as a chance to grow relations between the two countries. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Joseph Tsai is set to become the full owner of the Brooklyn Nets for a total of $2.35 billion, according to Josh Kosman and Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

The co-founder of Alibaba purchased 49 percent of the NBA team last year for $1 billion, which also gave him the right to purchase the other 51 percent from Mikhail Prokhorov for $1.35 billion by the 2021-22 season. He appears to be ready to make the move right away, with the transaction set to be announced this week.

Prokhorov originally purchased an 80 percent stake of the team for $223 million in 2010 and bought out the remaining 20 percent in 2015, although the team was valued at $875 million at the time.

The league has grown significantly since then, with sales of the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets topping $2 billion each.

According to Forbes, the Nets have a value of $2.35 billion in 2019, which ranks 37th among all professional sports teams.

The Nets could also be on the rise in the wake of their successful offseason, during which they added All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in free agency. Brooklyn reached the playoffs last year, but it suddenly has an even brighter future with major star power that could bring in a lot of revenue.

That could help cut into the New York Knicks' profits, an organization that ranked fifth in the world with a value of $4 billion.

Tsai, a Taiwan native, has been aggressive in getting into American sports in recent years. In addition to purchasing the Nets, he also bought 100 percent of the New York Liberty in the WNBA as well as the San Diego Seals in the National Lacrosse League.

In March, the Post's Josh Kosman and Brett Cyrgalis reported he was also negotiating to buy the Barclays Center and the new Nassau Coliseum from Prokhorov.

Adding the remainder of the Nets shares helps him fill out his profile in the sporting world.