BROOKLYN, New York — According to ESPN, Joseph Tsai, the executive vice chairman and co-founder of Chinese e-commerce goliath Alibaba, has reached an agreement in principle to purchase a 49 percent minority stake in the Brooklyn Nets that includes the option to acquire controlling interest of the NBA franchise in several years.
The purchase price will be based upon a $2.3 billion valuation of the team.
Mikhail Prokhorov will remain principal and operating owner of the Nets for an additional four years, with a presumption that he will sell his majority stake upon the triggering of Tsai’s option.
Tsai, 53, will not oversee any basketball or business operations as a minority partner in the team, responsibilities that will stay with Prokhorov and his management team until he sells his majority stake, league sources said.
The deal excludes the acquisition of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, sources said. Prokhorov owns a majority share of the arena, and it’s expected that a new long-term lease for the Nets will be negotiated in the near future, league sources said.
Tsai was born in Taiwan, educated at Yale University — both undergrad and law school — and holds a Canadian citizenship.