As NetsDaily has reported, ownership's main interest in marketing the team is finding a taker for 49 percent of the team, leaving Mikhail Prokhorov firmly in control. Now, the New York Post confirms that and reveals just how much Prokhorov --and Bruce Ratner-- think the team is worth.
Three billion dollars! And that's just for the team, not the arena! Is that crazy talk? The Post's sources suggest it is, at least for now.
They are seeking $1.5 billion for the stake, valuing the team at a record $3 billion. The franchise loses roughly $70 million a year and has the highest payroll in the league at more than $90 million.
"That price is not near a place it needs to be to get a deal done," said one source, who believes it is about 50 percent above where it should be.
A #3 billion valuation would be 50 percent --and $1 billion-- more than what Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO paid for the Clippers last year after longtime owner Donald Sterling was banned following the disclosure of racist statements. It would be nearly six times what Marc Lasry and Wes Edens paid for the Bucks two years ago, the next highest price for an NBA team.
According to the Post, the Nets ownership would sell all of the 20 percent stake owned by Nets Sports & Entertainment, the Ratner-led partnership, and 29 percent of the stake owned by Prokhorov's ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment. That would leave Prokhorov as principal owner and holder of 50 percent of stock of the team, the Post reports.
With such a valuation, the number of investors willing and able to buy in would be limited. The process has attracted some interest from Chinese insurance conglomerate Fosun and the Qatari government, sources told the Post. .This is the last indication Prokhorov and his No. 2, Dmitry Razumov, the Nets chairman, don't want to lose control of the team. Last year, the Nets and Guggenheim Partners, owners of the Dodgers, discussed a merger of sorts in which Prokhorov would retain control of the Nets. That deal fell apart at the last minute.
"Six months from now the ownership will be the same," one banking source predicted to the Post.
Nets’ owner Prokhorov now looking to sell a minority interest - Josh Kosman & Claire Atkinson - New York Post