Brooklyn Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov is ready for a long goodbye.
The Russian billionaire, unable to sell a minority stake in the money-losing NBA franchise, now plans to off-load a controlling stake in the team, two sources close to the situation told The Post.
However, Prokhorov is hoping to sell the Nets in a two-part process, the sources said. First, the 52-year-old will look to sell a minority piece of the team — but give the buyer the right to buy the entire team in a short period of time — say three years, the sources said.
“There will be a new owner in the next few years,” one of the sources said.
Prokhorov, after the NBA’s Houston Rockets sold earlier this month for a record price of $2.2 billion, is seeking roughly $2 billion for the Nets, sources said.
In July, The Post reported exclusively that Prokhorov, growing frustrated at the glacial pace of the effort to sell up to 49 percent of the team, was warming up to the idea of letting go of the team entirely.Since then, the eventual sale of 100 percent of the team has become the primary goal.
“The path to control is what is sparking this [revamped] auction,” a source said.
Prokhorov is not selling the separately owned Barclays Center, where the Nets play, sources said. The Nets, who had the NBA’s worst record last season, recently reworked their lease with Barclays in a way that will leave the Nets paying less rent, a source said.
Suitors are waiting for the details of the new lease agreement to be hammered out before submitting formal offers, a source said. Key to determining a franchise value is how much revenue the team will receive from suite rentals and sponsorships.
Potential buyers are also waiting on details on the path to control, the source said.
The Nets believe they can attract a selling price of at least $2 billion, especially after Tilman Fertitta agreed to buy the Rockets for $2.2 billion, sources said.
The Rockets are profitable, however, and the Nets next season are still expected to lose money.Prokhorov watches the Nets from the owner’s box in 2016.Charles Wenzelberg
There are interested buyers, including Wall Street types, who have been doing due diligence on the team, sources said.
Prokhorov acquired the Nets in 2010. There is speculation on why he wants to retain control for a few more seasons.
“I think he saves face by being a partner in a two-step transaction,” a source said.
Prokhorov promised when buying the team that within five years he would bring the Nets an NBA title. That promise was not kept.
After failing to keep that promise, he has turned his focus to real estate. By keeping the arena, he can start building his portfolio, the source said.
The Nets declined to comment by press time.
Source : http://nypost.com/2017/09/07/mikhail-prokhorovs-complicated-plan-for-selling-undesirable-nets/