The Nets may not be transferred to Russia after all.
ONEXIM Sports and Entertainment Holdings, Mikhail Prokhorov's holding company, issued a statement Tuesday clarifying its plans, which are admittedly tentative, to transfer ownership of Prokhorov's interest in the Nets (80 percent) and Barclays Center (45 percent) from a US company to a Russian entity.
ONEXIM noted in the statement, released through the Nets, that the transfer "may or may not come to fruition." and that if it does, it will be "a long process." ONEXIM also stated the rationale for the proposed move was about permitting Prokhorov to run for office in Russia. Russian law doesn't permit those with overseas assets to seek office in Russia. News reports Monday suggested that the Nets principal owner was planning a transfer of his assets to avoid them being seized under sanctions proposed to punish Russia for its incursion into Crimea.
Here is the statement...
Preliminary discussions with the NBA were held in spring, 2013 and, at that time, the League indicated its willingness to work with us in the event we needed to reregister the ownership vehicle of the Nets as a Russian entity to comply with the Russian law regarding candidates for political office. This is a long process which may or may not come to fruition and nothing is imminent. Of course, no steps in this direction could or would be taken without the full knowledge and approval of the NBA. "
The statement is in response to the NBA's statement of Monday in which the league said it "had received no official application nor is there a process underway through our office to transfer the ownership of the Nets to another company." Prokhorov made no secret of his plans back in June 2013. They were reported in the Russian and US press and on NetsDaily last June.
Meanwhile, Ellen Pinchuk, Prokhorov's press spokesperson, told a Russian news site the proposed transfer is, as noted by NetsDaily, NOT related to proposed US sanctions ... but to Prokhorov's political ambitions