Report: Mikhail Prokhorov nearing deal to buy all of Nets, Barclays Center

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Mikhail Prokhorov was reportedly looking into buying 100% of the Nets and Barclays Arena.

It appears he’ll pull it off.

Josh Kosman and Tim Bontemps of the New York Post:

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is nearing a deal to buy all of the Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets from Bruce Ratner’s Forest City Enterprises, The Post has learned.

Prokhorov has been in talks to buy the 55 percent of the arena and 20 percent of the NBA team he does not already own. Under the deal being discussed, he would kick in little cash beyond forgiving the roughly $31 million Forest City owes him to cover team losses, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

The team is valued at an estimated $700 million, according to the analyst who follows Forest City. After subtracting $210 million of debt, the franchise has an equity value of $490 million.

The Nets have been an excellent investment for Prokhorov, who reportedly purchased his share of the franchise for $200 million in 2010. Even if the team’s basketball operations have lost money, the rapid rise in value of the asset trumps it.

No wonder Prokhorov wants a larger piece of the pie.

Brooklyn has spent wildly under Prokhorov’s watch, but that has slowed. Of course, Prokhorov could always reverse course if that’s what it takes to win.

Playing in such a large market, the Nets should be profitable. They’ve screwed that up racking up huge luxury-tax bills, but there’s no reason they have to revisit that path – unless Prokhorov wants to spend big to increase his team’s chances of winning.

That’ll totally be his call soon.