August 14, 2019 / 3:58 PM / 10 days ago

Report: Tsai to buy remainder of Nets franchise

FILE PHOTO: Joseph Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Conference in Laguna Beach, California, U.S., October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

Joseph Tsai plans to buy the remainder of the Brooklyn Nets from Mikhail Prokhorov and become sole owner of the NBA franchise, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

When Tsai purchased 49 percent of the team last year for $1 billion, he locked in the right to buy the remaining 51 percent before the 2021-22 season for $1.35 billion, according to the report.

The combined $2.35 billion transaction would be the highest price ever paid for a sports franchise in the United States.

David Tepper paid $2.2 billion for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers last year, the same amount Tilman Fertitta spent for the NBA’s Houston Rockets in 2017.

Tsai, 55, is the co-founder of the Chinese shopping website Alibaba. He also owns the WNBA’s New York Liberty.

The Post said the deal will be announced this week. The Nets declined to comment on the story.

—Field Level Media

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