Tsai near deal for full ownership of Nets

Joseph Tsai, the co-founder of Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba, is close to signing a deal to buy the remaining 51 percent of the Brooklyn Nets, according to the New York Post.

There were reports earlier this year that Tsai also is trying to buy the Nets' arena, Barclays Center in Brooklyn. A deal announcing that he has purchased the remaining 51 percent stake is expected to be announced later this week, according to the report. He also owns the San Diego Seals, a box lacrosse franchise in the National Lacrosse League.

Tsai's deal to buy a minority stake in the Nets granted him the option to purchase controlling interest from Prokhorov by the 2021 season.

The $2.35-billion figure becomes the most expensive purchase for a North American sports franchise, surpassing the $2.2-billion acquisitions of the Carolina Panthers and Houston Rockets - both in 2018.

Tsai originally purchased 49% of the Nets previous year for $1 billion with the option to buy the remaining shares from Mikhail Prokhorov by the 2021-22 season.

Prokhorov bought the Nets in 2010 and the Russian oversaw the Nets' move from New Jersey to Brooklyn.

This summer has been a massive one for the Nets, as they reeled two of the biggest names in free agency: forward Kevin Durant and guard Kyrie Irving.

Even though Durant is expected to miss the upcoming season after tearing his Achilles while playing for the Golden State Warriors in June's NBA Finals, the Nets have still set a number of ticket marks since his signing.

Per Forbes, Tsai's estimated net worth is $9.3 billion.



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