Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai has agreed to purchase 49 percent of the Brooklyn Nets, with the option for controlling interest in several years, according to a report from ESPN.
“Mikhail Prokhorov will remain principal and operating owner of the Nets for an additional four years, with a presumption that he will sell his majority stake upon the triggering of Tsai’s option,” ESPN wrote, citing sources.
Tsai is a native of Taipei, Tawain, and attended school at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J., about an hour drive from the Nets’ then-home in East Rutherford.
Tsai, 53, has both an undergraduate and law degree from Yale, where he played lacrosse.
He currently resides in Hong Kong. According to Forbes, he had an estimated net worth of $4.9 billion in January 2016.
“The Nets lost $144 million on basketball-related activities in 2013-14, the largest such figure in the league that season by more than $100 million,” ESPN wrote. “Crippling luxury tax payments for a veteran-laden roster contributed to that, but the losses have sustained. Based on the league’s operating income figures, Brooklyn lost almost $23.5 million last season, the second-largest loss among all teams, ahead of only the Detroit Pistons.”
Alibaba is a web-based consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales portal.