Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has come to an agreement with Bruce Ratner to gain full ownership of the Nets and the Barclays Center, according to a report published by Bloomberg News, which cited two anonymous sources with knowledge of the situation.
Prokhorov owns 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the Barclays Center, while Ratner and his company, Forest City Enterprises Inc., owns the rest. The move, if approved by the NBA, could mean the Nets’ future is in limbo. A single owner means it would be easier to sell the team, if Prokhorov so desires, and Bloomberg reported that both Prokhorov and Ratner had previously retained the services of Evercore Partners, a Manhattan-based advisory firm, to look into selling stakes of the Nets. Hypothetically, the Barclays could be up for grabs too.
Prokhorov first purchased shares of the team in 2010, then also assuming about $165 million in team debt. He further consolidated his New York presence when he announced this year that his ONEXIM Sports & Entertainment would buy control over the new Nassau Coliseum.
Barry Baum, the Nets’ chief communications officer, did not reply to Newsday’s request for comment.