Wednesday, May 12, 2010

After NBA approval, Forest City's deal to sell Nets to Prokhorov finalized; Ratner talks about jobs and housing

Even though the deal involves hoops--the Nets basketball team and the Atlantic Yards arena--note that Bruce Ratner is still talking about jobs and housing.

(Yes, there will be construction jobs but not the 10,000 office jobs initially promised. One tower might begin construction later this year.)

Here's the press release from the Nets:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) and Nets Sports and Entertainment (NSE) announced today that they have closed on the agreement for the purchase of an 80% stake in the capital of the Nets basketball club and a 45% share in the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn.

Mikhail Prokhorov, principal owner of Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., said, “This much-anticipated day has finally come and now the real fun begins of building a championship team with a state-of-the-art home in the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards. It’s a wonderful opportunity to combine great sports and good business, and I look forward to working with Bruce Ratner and Forest City and with the Nets organization as we move ahead. To the fans, whether in New Jersey, Brooklyn, or Moscow, I will do everything I can to give you a winning team. See you at the Draft Lottery.”

Bruce Ratner, Chairman and CEO of FCRC, said, “This is a partnership that will allow us to bring Brooklyn and the Nets to a world-wide audience. I’m thrilled to have Mikhail on board and look forward to working with him as we embark on this journey to Brooklyn.”

Mr. Ratner explained as well that while construction on the site and arena has been ongoing, today also marks a significant milestone in the history of the project because all paper work related to the arena lease has been completed and bond funds have been released from escrow. “We are thankful to our partners, especially the Mayor and the Governor,” Mr. Ratner said. “Today, the promise of Atlantic Yards, including the Barclays Center, the jobs and the housing, becomes a reality.”

In accordance with the agreement, subsidiaries of Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., have invested $200 million and have made certain contingent funding commitments to acquire 45% of the arena project and 80% of the NBA team, and the right to purchase up to 20% of the Atlantic Yards Development Company, which will develop the non-arena real estate.

The transaction was approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors on May 11th. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP acted as legal counsel to FCRC and NSE. Hogan Lovells advised Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc. and its subsidiaries.
Here's the press release from Forest City Enterprises:
CLEVELAND, May 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FCEA and FCEB) today announced that its New York-based subsidiary, Forest City Ratner Companies, closed an agreement with Nets Sports and Entertainment and Mikhail Prokhorov, under which entities controlled by Prokhorov will acquire an 80 percent stake in the Nets basketball team and a 45 percent share in the Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn. The transaction was approved by the National Basketball Association's Board of Governors on May 11.

"This is a major step forward for Brooklyn, the Nets and Atlantic Yards," said Charles A. Ratner, Forest City Enterprises president and chief executive officer. "We are pleased to partner with Mikhail Prokhorov and we share his vision of bringing professional basketball to Brooklyn and to a worldwide audience from the Barclays Center at Atlantic Yards. I also want to acknowledge the hard work and creativity of Forest City's entire New York team, led by Bruce Ratner and Joanne Minieri, in making this day possible."

In accordance with the agreement, subsidiaries of Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holding USA, Inc., have invested $200 million and made certain contingent funding commitments to acquire the above-referenced shares of the arena and team, as well as the right to purchase up to 20 percent of the Atlantic Yards Development Company, which will develop the non-arena real estate.
Here's the press release, in the Star Ledger: Done Deal: Mikhail Prokhorov Owns the New Jersey Nets; in the New York Post's Brooklyn Blog: Russian billionaire closes deal to buy Nets and move club to Brooklyn.

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