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Sources close to Russian tycoon Prokhorov deny potential purchase of Barclays Center

The reports claiming that Taiwanese-Canadian billionaire Joseph Tsai is holding talks with Russian tycoon Mikhail Prokhorov on purchasing the home stadium of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets, Barclays Center, are false, sources close to Prokhorov informed TASS on Friday.

"The New York Post report on the sale of the arena is false," the source told TASS.

Earlier, the New York Post informed of the talks between Tsai and Prokhorov.

In April 2018, Prokhorov had sold a 49% interest in his NBA Brooklyn Nets basketball club for $1 billion to Joe Tsai, an executive vice president and co-founder of China’s biggest e-commerce company Alibaba Group.

Prokhorov remained the controlling owner of the Brooklyn Nets at least until 2021, since according to the deal, Joe Tsai has a purchase option for further shares that year.

The remaining 51% of the shares is estimated at $1.35 billion. Last year’s deal did not cover the club’s home arena, Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, which is owned by Prokhorov.

Joseph Tsai, who hails from Taiwan, is estimated by Forbes to boast a $9.9 billion fortune.

Russian billionaire and former presidential candidate Prokhorov, 53, bought the then New Jersey Nets in 2010 and 45% of the shares in Barclays Center for $223 million and later relocated the club to Brooklyn, which has a large Russian-speaking population.

He owned 80% of the Brooklyn Nets and 45% of Barclays Center until December 2015, when he gained full control of the team and the sports arena. According to Bloomberg reports at that time, the Russian tycoon paid an additional $875 million in December 2015 for the club and $825 million for Barclays Center.

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