Russian Tycoon Makes A Play For The Nets


NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia's richest tycoon, has launched a takeover bid for the New Jersey Nets, he revealed in his blog on Tuesday.

According to the blog post, Prokhorov sent a proposal to the Nets shareholders that would see his firm Onexim group provide a major loan to help fund the construction of the Nets new arena.

As a part of the deal, Onexim would also receive a controlling stake in the NBA franchise in exchange for a "symbolic" price.

The deal, if successful, would mark the first time an NBA franchise has come under foreign ownership, Reuters said.

The team's current owner Bruce Ratner, has been trying to develop a new arena for the team in Brooklyn, but has been facing a number of issues, particularly in obtaining funding since the global downturn in credit markets hit earlier this year. Ratner is facing a year-end deadline to start construction on the project, or he risks losing out on $700 in tax free funding from the state.

Forbes estimates that Prokhorov, who made his fortune in the tin business, is worth $9.5 billion. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers