Russian Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov Buys Nets

Donna Diegel's picture

Mikhail Prokhorov, 43-year old rich Russian billionaire, and most eligible bachelor, bought himself a basketball team. The New Jersey Nets will be moving to Brooklyn, NY in the near future.

Looks like the New Jersey Nets basketball team, whose principal owner is Bruce Ratner, will be getting new digs. The deal must first be
approved by 3/4 of the NBA's board of governors. Ratner, who bought the Nets for $300million in 2004, and Prokhorov said they hope to have the sale completed by the beginning of 2010. The New Jersey Nets should be in their new home during the 2011-12 season. However, this sale also means a move to a state-of-the-art facility in Brooklyn, which may not be a good thing for New Jersey who will lose the team to New York.

From Russia With Love
This isn't just big sports news in the USA. The media in Russia is talking about the deal as well. Russia today.com says, "Mikhail Prokhorov – an avid sports fan – used to support Russian basketball club CSKA, the two-time Euroleague champion. Prokhorov, who is a former mining executive, will invest at least $700 in building a new arena for the Nets."

The Moscow News Weekly described him as "Russia's most eligible bachelor."

The Moscow Times said on Sept. 18, 2009, "The Newark Star-Ledger reported in July that Nets owner Bruce Ratner, flew to Moscow to
discuss the possibility of the billionaire taking a stake in the team. Sports Illustrated quoted an unnamed source as saying Prokhorov would pass the league’s vetting process for owners."

ESPN News
According to ESPN, "According to the agreement, entities to be formed by Onexim Group will invest $200 million and make certain funding
commitments to acquire 80 percent of the NBA team, 45 percent of the arena project and the right to purchase up to 20 percent of the Atlantic Yards Development Company, which will develop the non-arena real estate."

Mikhail Prokhorov will be the first NBA owner from outside North America.

Forbes.com recently named Mikhail Prokhorov the 40th wealthiest man in the world. The 43-year old self-made billionaire Prokhorov, has an
estimated net worth of $9.5 billion dollars. Prokhorov received his education at Moscow State Institute of Finance, Bachelor of Arts and Science.

Moscow born Prokhorov however, has a tainted past. In 2007 he was arrested at a French ski resort for his prostitution ring. The charges were later dropped, and Prokhorov released.

Not only does Prokhorov love basketball, which is good for the Nets, but he's also an enthusiastic kickboxing fan. And did I mention that he is also very handsome and single?

Written by Donna Diegel
Exclusive to HULIQ

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