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Bruce Ratner selling majority share in Barclays Center

Alex Trautwig

Bruce Ratner, having failed to find a taker for his 20 percent of the Nets, is now putting his majority share --55 percent-- of Barclays Center on the market, reports Sports Business Journal Monday.  SBJ did not report the price tag for the Ratner stake, but suggested based on revenue flow, the arena would be valued at $750 million. Ratner's interest, which he shares with approximately 100 other investors, would be valued at a little more than $400 million.

"The Barclays Center is up for sale, with investment bank Evercore Partners expected by next week, sources said, to formally begin selling Forest City Enterprises’ 55 percent stake in the Brooklyn arena," writes Daniel Kaplan.

Kaplan also suggests that either Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov or new Islanders owners, former Capitals owner Jonathan Ledecky and London-based investor Scott Malkin, could wind up with Ratner's stack. It's believed that Prokhorov;s ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment Holdings, which owns the remaining 45 percent, has the right of first refusal on Ratner's arena share.

Ratner has been trying to cash out of his Nets/Barclays Center interests in the last year. He has already sold 70 percent of Atlantic Yards --minus the arena and a stalled apartment tower-- to a Chinese company. Just last week, his reps were in China pitching a US government program that essentially trades investments for visas, hoping to finance Atlantic Yards-related projects.

Earlier this year, Ratner had put up his 20 percent stake in the Nets, hoping for a return of $200 million but SBJ reports that he's now more interested in selling the arena stake. The arena makes money; the team lost more than $144 million last year, mainly because of the luxury taxes associated with the team's roster.

The news is the latest to suggest that Prokhorov's position in Brooklyn is fluid at least. Both Brett Yormark and Billy King --as well as other unnamed sources-- have said Prokhorov doesn't want to sell but would rather maintain control of the team through some partnership. As NetsDaily reported three weeks ago, there were discussions in Moscow about a possible "combination of assets" with an entity associated with Guggenheim Partners, whose principals own the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The status of those talks remains uncertain.