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Ozanian: Prokhorov only wants to sell minority interest

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Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Ozanian, the Forbes sports business writer, says that the Nets ownership only wants to sell a minority interest in the Nets and that has created confusion among those interested in the team.  In fact, Ozanian reports that it was his investment banker who dumped Mikhail Prokhorov, not the other way around.

Ozanian writes...

The main problem is that Prokhorov has not committed to selling a majority of the Nets and no one is apparently crazy enough to pay big money for a minority stake in a money-losing team. Such a deal would mean the new investor would have no say in how the Nets are run but would likely have to make cash payments to make up for the team’s red ink. As one banker who traded candor for anonymity put it, "No one knew what the deal was."

As NetsDaily has reported the Nets ownership would prefer to sell up to 49 percent of the team, possibly with an option to buy the rest at a later date. So far, no one has been willing to go along, at least at the valuation the Nets wanted. Both Billy King and Brett Yormark said last week that they expect the Russian team to be in charge for a while. The New York Post has reported that investment groups in Qatar and China are interested in the Nets.

What happens next?  Ozanian suggests the league may step in and ask Prokhorov to "fish or cut bait."