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Joe Tsai sells Nets minority stake to Koch family after $6 billion valuation

Joe Tsai sells a minority stake in the Nets to the Koch family, setting a staggering valuation for the team in the process.

BSE Global, the parent company of the Nets, Barclays Center and New York Liberty, was estimated to be valued at roughly $6 billion in the upcoming stock sale, according to an email sent to other league owners on Tuesday.

Nets owner Joe Tsai sold a minority stake in the team. Getty Images, courtesy of Asian American Foundation

This is one of the largest valuations in the history of American professional sports sales.

“This provides additional capital to invest in great fan experiences,” a source familiar with the deal told The Post. “When you factor in a potential new NBA media deal, a burgeoning WNBA team and the hugely successful Barclays Center as a premier concert venue, a $6 billion valuation is not at all far-fetched.”

Tsai paid about $3.3 billion for the team and arena in stages, taking control in 2019 by buying a minority stake.

He will sell 15% of his shares to Julia Koch and her family, giving them first preference in future management interests.

The news was first reported by Sportico. The amount of the shares was confirmed by the Washington Post, which first reported the deal.

Sources confirmed to The Washington Post that Mr. Koch and his family, whose combined fortune is estimated at $65.2 billion by Forbes magazine, will not have a path to control the company as Tsai Ing-wen did when she bought a minority stake from Russian oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov. Mr. Koch will also not serve as vice president.

Koch, 62, of New York, is married to the late billionaire David Koch and invests with their three children, David Jr., Mary Julia and John.

Julia Koch with her late husband David in 2016. Clint Spaulding/PMC

“Both families wish to emphasize that they are committed to making the necessary investments in the franchise to build a sustainable winning culture,” Tsai said in a letter to BSE employees. “We are also committed to investing in our talent and physical infrastructure to deliver the best sports and entertainment to our fans and spectators.”

The valuation is noteworthy, nearly double what Tsai paid.

According to Sportico, the Nets (and related assets) were valued at $3.98 billion and the Liberty at $130 million. Clearly, reality was better than expected.

Nets star Mikal Bridges. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

That’s likely due in part to soaring television revenues — the league’s new 11-year contract is reportedly worth more than $70 billion — and Barclays Center became the world’s most profitable arena in April, according to Billboard.

The NBA’s Financial Advisory Committee has already reviewed the deal and recommended its approval by the league’s governors, who must vote by Monday.