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Mikhail Prokhorov "looking to monetize assets," not cede control of Brooklyn Nets

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Mikhail Prokhorov has said he never wanted to sell a majority interest in the team.

"I never intended to sell the team and have looked at selling only the minority stake," he said on April 8, noting there have been "approximately" 10 offers for his shares. "And for the time being there is nothing on the table. . . . If somebody wants to send me any kind of proposal, why not? Just to have a look. But we’re only speaking about minority stakes in the team."

He has, quietly, renewed ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment's lease on its 26th floor offices at the Seagram Building on Park Avenue -- for another six years.

Now, in the latest confirmation that he isn't selling, the CEO of Bruce Ratner's parent company, the second largest owner of the Nets, says the Russian oligarch is only interested in selling a piece of the Nets.

David LaRue, CEO of Forest City Enterprises, told investors Tuesday that he was "working cooperatively" with Prokhorov, who owns 80% of the team and 45% of the arena. He noted reports that ONEXIM was not aiming to sell completely but "looking to monetize a portion of their asset," according to a report by Norman Oder, critic and chronicler of the overall Atlantic Yards project.

LaRue said not much is going on, comparing the company's efforts to sell its shares of the team and arena to a duck, that is, despite little movement on the water, they were "paddling like crazy below the surface."  According to one report, Prokhorov and Ratner would like to sell 49 percent of the team --29 percent from Prokhorov's share and all of Ratner and Forest City's 20 percent share -- to a minority investors. Prokhorov would retain control and continue to be "governor and controlling owner" of the team under NBA rules.

The CEO added that the Nets' disappointing season had played a role in the declining profit picture at Barclays Center. The Nets, LaRue said, "had a great run at the end of the year and ended up being in the playoffs which was a positive for the arena, but in those early parts of the year they did have more of a difficult season and some of that translated down each of those line items."