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A round-up: what billionaire might be interested in the Nets


Expect to see a lot of speculation over who might be --and who isn't-- interested in buying the Nets as Mikhail Prokhorov looks to sell.  Names of billionaires from East to West coasts, from Steven A. Cohen, the controversial billionaire hedge fund manager, to Laurence Powell Jobs, Steve's widow, are starting to surface, along with others more and less well-known.

Steven A. Cohen at first appeared the most interested in the Nets ... then not. Was it sticker shock? No one is saying.

Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News, who broke the story about Prokhorov wanting to sell the Nets, also reported this weekend that Cohen had spoken to Prokhorov's investment bankers.

Then, 40 minutes later, Soshnick clarified his reporting...

Later still, Soshnick wrote that while Cohen did meet with Evercore but he doesn't plan to make a bid...

Billionaire Steven A. Cohen said he won’t bid for the Brooklyn Nets after his representatives met with bankers handling the team’s sale, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Cohen ran SAC Capital Advisors, a Stamford, Connecticut-based hedge fund until last year and has a net worth of around $10 billion, or roughly the same as Prokhorov.  Cohen's company had a stream of trouble with federal regulators over the last several years and pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges in 2014. Cohen himself paid out $1.3 billion in fines assessed by federal prosecutors and closed down the company and now manages his own fortune through a new company, Point72 Asset Management.

Others are expected to make bids. Last week, the Post reported that two other hedge fund/private equity types, David Bonderman and David Einhorn may be interested.  NetsDaily has been told that last year, music/movie producer David Geffen had an interest in the team, but not at a price tag that included the word, "billion."

Noted billionaire Donald Trump told TMZ he is not interested in buying the team and in fact dissed the team.

The most fascinating name, however, is not the two hedge fund managers mentioned by the Post nor Cohen or Geffen. billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs' widow, has been "sniffing around," sources tell NetsDaily.  . She was part of an unsuccessful bid for the Clippers, having joined Geffen and Oprah Winfrey.  Ms. Jobs is reportedly interested in striking out on her own.  She has a net worth of $17.6 billion, according to Forbes.  She's the largest single stockholder in Disney, which of course runs ESPN.  A New Jersey native, she holds a bachelor's degree from Penn's Wharton School of Business and an M.B.A. from Stanford.

Although Prokhorov has characterized his hiring of Evercore as a way to assess the true value of the franchise, many in the  NBA believe he is ready to sell if he gets the right offer. Many potential investors as well as Prokhorov want to see how much the Atlanta Hawks will fetch.  That should be known soon.