Taiwanese-Canadian billionaire Joseph Tsai is reportedly in talks to acquire Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and the new Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale from Russian metals billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.
According to a report by the New York Post, the negotiations could pave the way for Tsai to become the new owner of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team. The Taiwanese billionaire already owns 49% of the team, after paying $ 1 billion last year to acquire the stake from Prokhorov. People familiar with the transaction say the deal gives Tsai rights to acquire the rest of the team before the 2021-22 basketball season for an additional $1.35 billion. If Tsai succeeds in buying the Barclays Center, it will make it much easier for him to fully acquire the Nets because the NBA typically prefers for its owners to own the arenas where their teams play.
NBA is reportedly eager for Tsai to acquire control of the Nets because he can help the league grow and become a lot more popular in China. Tsai is already a member of NBA China, which conducts business for the NBA in the Asian country, but he does not yet have control of a team.
Tsai, 55, is one of the world’s richest men with a fortune Forbes Magazine estimates at more than $10 billion. He is vice chairman and cofounder of Alibaba Group, and is currently the company’s second-largest individual shareholder after chairman Jack Ma. He owns 49% of the Brooklyn Nets National Basketball Association team. He holds two degrees from Yale University–an undergraduate degree in economics and East Asian studies and a law degree.