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Bloomberg: NBA clears sale of Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center to Mikhail Prokhorov

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Mikhail Prokhorov

Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News reports that the NBA has cleared Mikhail Prokhorov's purchase of Bruce Ratner's share of both the Nets and Barclays Center.

A league source confirmed the news to NetsDaily.

Soshnick also broke the story of an agreement in place between Prokhorov and Ratner two weeks ago. Prokhorov had owned 80 percent of the team and 45 percent of the arena prior to the agreement.  He recently bought out 85 percent of Ratner's stake in the Nassau Coliseum as well.

The valuation of the Nets and Barclays Center will be $1.9 billion, Soshnick writes in his Bloomberg report. He did not break down the valuation of each.

The transaction, expected to involve the exchange of as much as $400 million dollars, would expedite Prokhorov's plan to sell a minority stake in the team, perhaps as much as 49 percent.  League sources say Prokhorov has not been marketing that stake.

Ratner's parent company, Forest City Enterprises, is converting to a real estate investment trust (REIT) on January 1 which limits the types of assets it can control. Neither a basketball team nor an arena fits the REIT model.

Talks between the two sides have been underway for months.

The sale marks the end of Ratner's 12-year involvement with the Nets. Ratner was the author of the plan to move the Nets from New Jersey to Brooklyn as the team's principal owner from 2003 until 2010. After Prokhorov bought 80 percent of the team in 2010, he became minority owner but retained the title of Barclays Center developer. After on court successes under previous owners Ray Chambers and the late Lewis Katz, Ratner's ownership was a period of declining records, revenues and attendance as well as rising debt.