The vice chairman of Alibaba Joseph Tsai is close to buying 51% of the NBA team Brooklyn Nets. The deal is expected to be officially announced this week.
Tsai bought 49% of the Nets in 2018 for $1 billion, and locked in the right to buy the remaining 51% of the team before the 2021-2022 basketball season for an additional $1.35 billion.
With this new deal taking place, Tsai would pay a total of $2.35 billion for the ownership of the Nets, making the transaction the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise.
The Nets revenue for the last financial year was $2.9 billion, ranking 6th among the 30 NBA teams. The team has seen great improvements on the basketball court, making it to the playoffs for the first time since 2014-2015 season. On top of that, the Nets have acquired Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the off season, two big names that are expected to help increase attendance at the Barclays Center, the Nets’ home court. It is estimated that the Nets will see a 10%~15% increase in revenue.
Tsai’s family came from Zhejiang, China, and Tsai himself was born in Taiwan, China. This connection with China is expected to make the Nets more popular in China, increasing its business opportunities there.
Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick