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Russian Billionaire to Become Owner of New Jersey Nets

23. September 2009 by Admin 0 Comments

Mikhail D. Prokhorov, considered to be the richest man in Russia, has signed a tentative $200 million deal Wednesday to invest in an arena in Brooklyn, slated to become the new home of the New Jersey Nets. In addition, the deal would make the Russian billionaire the principal owner of the team, as well as the first foreign owner of an NBA team who is not Canadian. 


In a statement, Prokhorov said, "I have a long-standing passion for basketball and pursuing interests that forward the development of the sport in Russia."  The 44 year old amateur basketball player has also reportedly boasted that he will be the only NBA owner who can dunk.


The deal comes about as developer Bruce C. Ratner scrambles to secure financing for the planned $800 million arena.  In exchange for his financial investment and shouldering some of the team's debts, Prokhorov receives an 80% stake in the team and 45% of the arena.  He also will have the right to purchase up to 20% of the 22 acres of residential and commercial development surrounding the proposed arena.