Russian billionaire to build stadium for New Jersey Nets

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 Russian billionaire to build stadium for New Jersey Nets  - Sputnik International
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Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov will acquire a stake in New Jersey Nets for a symbolic $1, and will build a stadium for the NBA club in Brooklyn, Russian media reported on Friday.

MOSCOW, September 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov will acquire a stake in New Jersey Nets for a symbolic $1, and will build a stadium for the NBA club in Brooklyn, Russian media reported on Friday.

Sport Express said Prokhorov, Russia's wealthiest person according to the latest Forbes estimate, and an avid basketball fan, would acquire a majority stake in the club and will fund the construction of the Barclays Center, which will be part of a sports, residential and business complex.

Kommersant daily said Prokhorov's Onexim group would finance the construction, estimated at $700 million, and that the deal could be signed within three or four weeks.

Onexim will provide credit to New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner to be secured by the stake, the paper said.

Prokhorov also funded CSKA Moscow football club through his company Norilsk Nickel, until selling his 25% stake in the mining giant last year.

Several Russian businessmen have become owners or shareholders in major sports teams.

Roman Abramovich owns Chelsea, while Metalloinvest owner Alisher Usmanov is the second-largest shareholder in Arsenal. Arkady Gaidamak, a Soviet emigrant living in Israel, is the owner of Israeli football club Beitar Jerusalem.

The parties have not confirmed the planned deal. Media reports quoted Onexim spokesman Igor Petrov as saying on Thursday that "the possibility exists" that Prokhorov would participate in the project.

 

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