Sunday, February 16, 2014

Nets said to schedule exhibition games in China; surely this is connected to Greenland deal and/or new EB-5 fundraising plan

The Nets are going to China again, as they did in the fall of 2010, and once again there's surely a larger business reason.

NetsDaily reports an exclusive:
The Nets will once again play two preseason games in China next October, part of Mikhail Prokhorov's global plan for the franchise, according to league sources. The announcement may be made as early as Sunday. The Nets will play one game each vs. the Kings, presumably in Beijing and Shanghai. The Kings are the only other NBA franchise owned by an international investor, Vivek Ranadive of India.
While Prokhorov indeed aims to globalize the franchise, I'm certain there are larger business reasons for the trip.

Ties with China

2013-14 EB-5 pitch
First, Forest City Ratner, Ratner's minority partner on the team and majority partner on the arena, is in the process of selling 70% of the remaining Atlantic Yards project--excluding the arena and the first tower, B2--to the Chinese government-owned Greenland Group.

Surely there's an opportunity for collaboration, to highlight and honor Greenland.

Second, Forest City Ratner is in its second effort to raise $249 million in cheap capital from immigrant investors, largely from China, in what's known as the EB-5 program.

2010 EB-5 pitch
"Atlantic Yards II," as it's been pitched, does not involve the arena or team but, as we saw in 2010, the promoters of the EB-5 project similarly muddied the waters, promoting the investment as involving the arena and team. They even used the NBA logo.

It's surely a bonus to invite potential or enrolled EB-5 investors to a basketball game and/or to hobnob with retired stars.

The only caveat regarding this is that the games are scheduled for October, according to NetsDaily. By then, most if not all of the EB-5 investors may be signed up.

If that's the case, then attendance at a game wouldn't be part of the sales job, but rather would be a reward for those who've invested in the mysterious "Atlantic Yards II."

Misleading investors, twisting intentions

As I've written, the EB-5 pitch misleads in multiple ways, including the nature of the "project," endorsements that are unrelated to the $1.235B "project", and even the quasi-official name of the sponsoring entity.

Even more strangely, given Greenland's role and the nature of the EB-5 program, the bottom line is this: the Chinese government would profit by selling U.S. green cards to Chinese immigrants.

That violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the immigrant investor program.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:08 PM

    maybe the relatively old Nets roster might have a winning record if the teams owners didn't send the players overseas so often just to help the bottom line of the non-basketball part of the project.
    trips to China and London are tiring.

    ReplyDelete