Monday, December 21, 2015

Are the Nets and Barclays Center really worth $1.9 billion? An expert's doubts

Let's remember, in keeping with the opacity regarding the sale of the Brooklyn Nets and the Barclays Center operating company, there is exactly one, unnamed source--originally telling Bloomberg News--that the team/arena are worth $1.9 billion together.

Mike Ozanian of Forbes expressed doubt:
And given the apparent complexity of the deal–loan forgiveness, relatively little cash exchanging hands, a minority interest in the team with a majority interest in the arena rights–the purchase price allocation for this transaction will be fascinating.
Ozanian said he had verified a previously reported valuation of the team at $700 million (which, I'd add, is well below the $1.5 million that Forbes previously estimated). If so, that values the arena least at $1.2 billion.

But the Nets lose money--that could/should stop with a new payroll and coming TV deal, I'd add--and the arena, at least according to past reports, was making a relatively small profit. 

Ozanian "really doubt[s] Prokhorov could turn around sell the Nets and arena rights for anything close to $1.9 billion next week. But then again, I also doubted anyone would pay anything close to $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers. And we all know how that turned out."

In other words, all it takes is another billionaire to buy them.

Note that there are lots of moving parts here. The Nets should make money at some point reasonably soon. The arena might make more profit too.

But the echo chamber of reporting/blogging cascades thinly-sourced numbers, and we should remember to take them with a grain of salt.

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