NEW YORK - (AP) - Russia's richest man has a deal to buy a controlling interest in the New Jersey Nets and nearly half of a project to build a new arena in Brooklyn.

Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group announced the deal Wednesday with Forest City Ratner Companies and Nets Sports and Entertainment. They say they have signed a letter of intent to create a strategic partnership for the development of the Atlantic Yards Project.

NBA Commissioner David Stern is praising the move. He says it's a chance for the NBA to expand globally and ensures that the Nets will have a new arena.

The deal would have to be approved by the NBA's board of governors.