Tech Billionaire Joseph Tsai Set To Purchase 49 Percent Stake In Nets

Joseph Tsai

Under the reported terms, Tsai will have the option to purchase controlling interest in the team in four years.

The team is worth is worth $1.8 billion, seventh in the 30-team National Basketball Association, according to Forbes magazine's most recent valuations.

Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe of ESPN.com confirmed details of the deal Friday morning, including the fact the purchase price is based on a $2.3 billion franchise valuation.

In the meantime, Mikhail Prokhorov, who bought the then-New Jersey Nets in 2010, will remain the team's principal and operating owner. According to the ESPN report, that's part of Tsai's thinking in purchasing the team.

Mikhail Prokhorov's search for a Nets buyer is reportedly nearing an end.

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The Barclay's Center is also included. He bought the minority stake of the team and the majority stake of the arena from real estate developer Bruce Ratner in 2015 at a cost of $1.7 billion. They didn't. The Nets haven't had a winning season since the 2013-14 campaign, finishing last season with a 20-62 record.

Without the Barclays Center, the deal hinges on whether or not the Nets can be successful financially.

Tsai, 53, was born in Taiwan and attended high school at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and college at Yale University, where he earned his undergraduate and law degrees.

Tsai reportedly "expressed enthusiasm" over the Nets rebuilding direction with general manager Sean Marks and head coach Kenny Atkinson. Despite losing point guard Jeremy Lin to a season-ending knee injury, the Nets are now 3-2, and are coming off a dramatic win over the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

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