Joe Tsai’s $2.35 Billion Acquisition of full ownership of Barclays Center and controlling interest in the Brooklyn Nets

Hogan Lovells advised on the deal

Mikhail Prokhorov has entered into a definitive agreement to sell full ownership of Barclays Center and his 51% controlling interest in the Brooklyn Nets, which he has held through his company Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., to an entity controlled by Joe Tsai. With the purchase of Prokhorov’s shares of the Nets, Tsai will become the sole investor in the team. Tsai purchased 49% of the Nets in 2018.

Upon the closing of the arena and team transactions, which is expected by the end of September, Tsai will assume the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors for Barclays Center, and NBA Governor of the Nets and its affiliates. The transaction requires the approval of the NBA Board of Governors.

The current management team will continue to run the venue and team under new ownership. Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global, will oversee the transition to new ownership before departing for a new role. Yormark will announce his next career move in the coming weeks.

Yormark was hired in 2005 to lead all aspects of the Nets move to Brooklyn and the opening of Barclays Center, including the branding, marketing, event programming, and sales. As CEO, he has transformed the Nets, revolutionized the team’s consumer appeal, and led Barclays Center to become a top-grossing arena worldwide. This was Yormark’s third stint with the Nets, during which he served as the team’s longest tenured business chief. He first worked in the ticket sales department in 1988. He also oversaw the major transformation and reopening of NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Long Island, which is home to the Brooklyn Nets’ G League team, the Long Island Nets. Most recently, BSE Global partnered in the acquisition, renovation, and reopening of the iconic Manhattan venue Webster Hall, which Yormark was instrumental in facilitating.

Law firm Hogan Lovells advised Mikhail Prokhorov with a team including corporate partners Matthew Eisler (Picture), Craig Umbaugh, Russell Hedman, Sandra Harris, Stephen Grodski, Melissa Moravec, Andrew Brandes, Caroline Brown, Eric Einhorn and Brittany Raway. Partner Helen Atkeson and senior associate Jordan Chase handled public finance aspects of the transaction. Partner Mark Weinstein advised on tax and partner Carin Carithers and senior associate Laura Szarmach handled benefits. Partners David London and Tim Lyden, as well as senior associate Hao Wang, provided IP advice. Real estate matters were handled by partner Lea Ann Fowler and senior associates Lewis Turner and Scott Campbell. Partner Michele Harrington and senior associate Robert Baldwin advised on antitrust.

On the client side, the transaction was led by New York based former Hogan partner and current President of Onexim Sports and Entertainment Maureen Hanlon. The Hogan Lovells team also worked closely with Jeff Gewirtz, the Brooklyn Nets’ and Barclays Center’s Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Legal & Compliance Officer; Kari Cohen, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center and Russell Yavner, Assistant General Counsel for the Brooklyn Nets & Barclays Center.

Involved fees earner: Helen Atkeson – Hogan Lovells; Robert Baldwin – Hogan Lovells; Andrew Brandes – Hogan Lovells; Caroline Brown – Hogan Lovells; Scott Campbell – Hogan Lovells; Carin Carithers – Hogan Lovells; Jordan Chase – Hogan Lovells; Eric Einhorn – Hogan Lovells; Matthew Eisler – Hogan Lovells; Lea Ann Fowler – Hogan Lovells; Stephen Grodski – Hogan Lovells; Michele Harrington – Hogan Lovells; Sandra Harris – Hogan Lovells; Russell Benjamin Hedman – Hogan Lovells; David London – Hogan Lovells; Timothy Lyden – Hogan Lovells; Melissa Moravec – Hogan Lovells; Brittany Raway – Hogan Lovells; Laura Szarmach – Hogan Lovells; Lewis Jeffrey Turner – Hogan Lovells; Craig Umbaugh – Hogan Lovells; Hao Wang – Hogan Lovells; Mark Weinstein – Hogan Lovells;

Law Firms: Hogan Lovells;

Clients: Mikhail Prokhorov;

Author: Ambrogio Visconti