« Forest City nears selling stake in NYC retail portfolio | Main | In newsletter, NYCRC finally announces Brooklyn Arena and Infrastructure Project, "in conjunction with" city and state governments »

December 13, 2010

The missing billionaire: Why nobody pitching EB-5 investments to Chinese millionaires wants to talk about Mikhail Prokhorov

Part 9 of a series

Atlantic Yards Report

Does Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, majority owner (80%) of the New Jersey Nets and minority owner (45%) of the arena, have anything to do with the "Brooklyn Arena & Infrastructure Project" for which immigrant investor funding is sought?

Of course.

However, when asked during a webcast in September why Chinese investment was needed if Prokhorov was the owner of the Nets, the New York City Regional Center's (NYRC) Gregg D. Hayden simply punted, deflecting the question with a nonsense answer.

Since then, he and colleagues, in presentations to potential investors, have assiduously avoided the suggestion that Prokhorov has a key role in the arena. That's part of the misdirection that characterizes the EB-5 sales job.
...

That significant, strategic omission seems aimed to avoid this question: Why couldn't Prokhorov be asked to pick up the slack?

Answer: Presumably, in exchange for contributing more money, he'd ask for a greater share of the arena itself, rather than accept some murky collateral. And that would lower Forest City Ratner's return.

article

Posted by eric at December 13, 2010 10:41 AM