Mikhail Prokhorov Acquires Full Ownership Of Nets

5:50pm: The Nets have officially announced the sale. In the team’s official press release, Prohkorov said, “Today’s deal brings the ownership structure of the Brooklyn Nets and their state-of-the-art home in line with NBA guidelines and comes at an opportune time for all involved. We have enjoyed a wonderful partnership with Forest City and Bruce Ratner and worked together to open one of the most successful arenas in the country and to bring professional sports back to Brooklyn. We will continue to support arena management to provide a high level of service to our fans and the best sports and entertainment experience in the world. We also remain fully committed to community programs that were created as part of the arena. We believe a successful arena must be a destination, but also be part of the communities that surround it and more broadly the collection of neighborhoods that represent Brooklyn.

5:44pm: The NBA has officially approved the ownership transfer of 100% of the Nets and the Barclays Center to Mikhail Prokhorov, Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg.com reports (Twitter Links). The valuation of the the team and the Barclays Center are a combined $1.7 billion, with $875MM for the team and $825MM for the arena, Soshnick adds. This amount is lower than the $1.9 billion that was originally projected for the sale. The $1.7 billion valuation makes the sale of the Nets second in historical value to only the Clippers, which sold to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

As we continue to focus our portfolio on core retail, office and apartment assets in strong urban markets, and transition to REIT status, this transaction is a significant milestone,” said David J. LaRue, Forest City president and chief executive officer in the official press release (h/t to NetsDaily). “I want to thank the NBA for their support and I salute our New York team, led by Bruce Ratner, MaryAnne Gilmartin and David Berliner, as well as our partner and our associates and advisors involved in making this deal a reality.”

Bruce Ratner, executive chairman of the company’s New York subsidiary, Forest City Ratner Companies, added, “The development of Barclays Center enabled the return of major league professional sports and world-class entertainment to Brooklyn, and in just over three years of operations, it has become one of the top-grossing arenas in the country. As an anchor for the continued development of Pacific Park Brooklyn, Barclays Center stands as an iconic landmark for the borough.

Prokhorov bought his original 80% stake in the Nets and 45% of Barclays Center in May of 2010 for $223MM.  This new arrangement will permit Prokhorov to sell a minority stake, as much as 49%, in the team and the arena if he so chooses, NetsDaily notes. The NBA had reportedly blocked Prokhorov’s plan to borrow money against his share of the Nets to purchase Ratner’s portion back in November because it would have given the team more than $250MM in debt.

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