Latest On Mikhail Prokhorov, Nets Ownership

Mikhail Prokhorov is working toward a deal that would give him 100% ownership of both the Nets and the Barclays Center, report Josh Kosman and Tim Bontemps of the New York Post. Kosman and Bontemps hear the deal is nearing completion, but sources caution Mitch Abramson of the New York Daily News that while both sides are motivated to reach an agreement and are likely to do so, they’re a long way from getting it done. One report from earlier this year indicated that full control of both the arena and the team would make it easier for Prokhorov to turn around and sell them, though another cast doubt on that. Either way, Prokhorov isn’t looking to sell his controlling stake in the team anytime soon, Abramson hears.

The would-be arrangement would entail Prokhorov’s company, which already owns 80% of the Nets and 45% of the arena, forgiving the approximately $31MM debt that former majority owner Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises owes them, as Kosman and Bontemps explain. Beyond that, the cost to Prokhorov wouldn’t amount to much, the Post scribes add. Ratner is reportedly facing a deadline of Tuesday to resolve that debt, though a deal is unlikely before then, sources tell Abramson.

Prokhorov and the Guggenheim Partners apparently had talks a year ago about a merging of ownership, months after a report indicated that Prokhorov was listening to offers for the Nets. Those Guggenheim talks were said to have hit a snag, though rumors that Prokhorov had interest in selling the Nets have persisted. Prokhorov has downplayed such talk.

Do you think Prokhorov will sell off control of the Nets anytime soon? Leave a comment to tell us.

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