Wall Street Bids For The Brooklyn Nets

Wall Street will be part of “aggressive bidding” for the Brooklyn Nets, whose proximity might bring a price that eclipses the National Basketball Association record $2 billion former Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer paid for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sports industry consultant Lee Berke, founder of LHB Sports, Entertainment and Media Inc., said in a telephone interview yesterday; “Another Picasso is up for sale. It’ll command a very high, Clippers-level price.”

Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov retained Evercore Partners (EVR) to sell the franchise he bought in 2010, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter. The commodities tycoon paid about $220 million for 80 percent of the club and 45 percent of its arena, the 2 1/2-year-old Barclays Center, which the people said isn’t part of the sale. The people requested anonymity because the matter is private.

Bruce Ratner owns 20 percent of the team and a majority stake in the building.

Because of the franchise’s home in the No. 1 U.S. media market, and the infrequency with which marquee professional sports teams become available, bidders, as with the Clippers, will have to pay a trophy premium to win the franchise.

“There will be sincere interest, and aggressive bidding, especially from Wall Street with Barclays in their back yard,” said Wayne McDonnell, academic chairman of sports management at New York University. “It wouldn’t surprise me to get these conversations in the billions.”

Story via Bloomberg

Image by RMajouji at en.wikipedia [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

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