Russia's richest man closer to owning Nets

(AP) - The richest man in Russia isanother step closer to owning the New Jersey Nets.

Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings andthe development company that owns the Nets announced on Wednesdaythat they had completed their agreement to create a partnership forowning the NBA team and developing the Atlantic Yards project inNew York City.

The agreement provides for the sale of 80 percent of the Netsand 45 percent of a new Nets arena to Prokhorov's Onexim, subjectto approval by the NBA Board of Governors.

It also includes an option for Prokhorov to acquire up to 20percent of Atlantic Yards, which would surround the new BarclaysCenter arena with apartments and office towers on 22 acres inBrooklyn.

Forest City Ratner Cos., which is led by Nets majority ownerBruce Ratner, and Nets Sports and Entertainment signed a letter ofintent with Prokhorov on Sept. 23.

Wednesday's announcement came one day after Forest City Ratnerannounced that $511 million in tax-free bonds for the BarclaysCenter had been sold. Project opponents had hoped the bond salewould fall flat and end the project.

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