Last week, the Brooklyn Nets appeared headed for a partnership of some kind with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Multiple reports had Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and the Dodgers’ Guggenheim group in talks on a “combination of assets” although a lot of people around the league thought it might just be an outright sale.
Apparently not so.
The New York Post is reporting that the talks have broken down and a partnership now seems unlikely.
Prokhorov still wants to sell some of his 80 percent stake in the Nets — and Ratner wishes to unload his 55 percent Barclays stake, sources said.
The talks about combining assets would have allowed Prokhorov and Ratner to remove some cash from the deal.
“The challenge is they want someone to pay a premium price and not take control,”
the source said.
The partnership talks were always confusing, since Prokhorov didn’t seem to want to sell the Nets outright. If the Guggenheim group wasn’t going to take control of the team, there wasn’t much incentive for them to do the deal. The talks were reportedly valuing the Nets at $1.7 billion and the Barclays Center at $1.1 billion. Guggenheim bought the Dodgers in 2012 for $2.15 billion; Prokhorov bought the Nets in 2010 for $223 million.
Don’t be surprised to see Prokhorov cash out on the Nets at some point between now and the start of the NBA’s new TV deal that kicks in in 2016. Whether that’s with Guggenheim or another buyer, there’s plenty of interest in buying NBA teams at the moment, and Prokhorov is a businessman above all else. If he gets the right opportunity to turn a massive profit on the Nets and their extremely valuable Brooklyn arena property, he’ll do it.