Mikhail Prokhorov unable to find buyer for minority stake in Nets

Brooklyn Nets NBA basketball team General Manager Sean Marks, left, listens as new head coach Kenny Atkinson addresses the media after he was introduced at the Nets Brooklyn training center, Monday, May 16, 2016, in New York. Atkinson is a former Atlanta Hawks assistant coach. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

The Brooklyn Nets are mired in a brutal stretch for the franchise on the court, having again lost 60 games only set to see their to-be-determined lottery pick transferred to the Boston Celtics. There isn’t a lot of hope for this franchise at the present time.

Team owner Mikhail Prokhorov continues to attempt to unload a 49 percent minority stake in the team, but the Russian billionaire is experiencing difficulty doing so, according to NetsDaily. Forbes recently valued the Nets at $1.8 billion – the seventh-most valuable franchise in the game, recent performance notwithstanding – so this large stake would be worth nearly $900 million.

Prokhorov and a hired investment firm, Allen & Co., have searched for a local investor to strengthen the team’s presence within New York. According to NetsDaily, several buyers have come to Allen & Co. or the league offices with prospective offers since Prokhorov enlisted the company to help during this process back in November. However, the high price and cloudy arrangement about when a minority owner could purchase a controlling stake in the team has intervened, per the website.

The NBA wanted the owner to sell equal stakes in the Nets and Barclays Center, but the franchise has thus far rebuffed this proposition. Selling a stake in one without the other leads the league to believe a conflict of interest could arise, according to NetsDaily.

Prokhorov and other Nets decision-makers are currently in Moscow determining offseason plans for the franchise, one that went 20-62 this season. So, while a potential rebuild still looks years away, the Nets are experiencing complications on the business side as well.

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