Welp. According to Bloomberg Business, Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire who just five years ago plunked down $220 million for an 80 percent share of the Brooklyn Nets and then went ahead and built a massive new arena in Brooklyn, is looking to sell his team.
Bloomberg cites two sources claiming that Prokhorov has hired investment banking firm Evercore Partners to explore options for selling the team. The Nets are a bad team that has reportedly been hemorrhaging money lately, but none of that matters to Prokhorov now, as he stands to make a huge profit if he can swing a sale. From Bloomberg:
Because of their home in the No. 1 U.S. media market, and the infrequency with which marquee franchises become available, the Nets might fetch more than the record $2 billion former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers in a frenzied auction sparked by racist comments made by former ownerDonald Sterling, [valuation expert Peter] Schwartz said.
"The fever of a trophy asset goes beyond financial analysis — as we saw in Los Angeles," Schwartz said.
To recap: Prokhorov bought the Nets for $220 million, ran the organization poorly, and is now in line to dump his ownership stake for somewhere around $2 billion. It's going to be hilarious when NBA owners try to convince us that owning an NBA team isn't a great racket during the next round of CBA negotiations.