Report: Newark’s Booker, Devils Seeking Group to Buy Nets from Ratner [UPDATED]

The Star-Ledger reports that Newark Mayor Cory Booker and the New Jersey Devils are trying to assemble investors to buy the Nets basketball team from development firm Forest City Ratner.

Should the Nets be sold—Forest City denied that the team is for sale—it would presumably kill the more than $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, developed by Forest City under the premise that a new Frank Gehry-designed arena would be created for the Nets.

From the article:

The owner of the Devils hockey team and Newark Mayor Cory Booker are seeking to assemble a group of investors to buy the Nets and move the basketball team to Newark, according to people familiar with the effort.

In recent weeks, Devils owner Jeffrey Vanderbeek has met with Nets owner Bruce Ratner, while Booker has spoken to an official at Ratner’s development company, Forest City Ratner Cos., according to three sources with direct knowledge of the discussions. The outcome of each talk was characterized as "open-ended." The parties spoke on the condition they not be identified.

Update 2:55 p.m.

Forest City spokesman Loren Riegelhaupt wrote with a statement denying that the firm engaged in any conversations:

“There have been no discussions with any elected officials or business executives about buying the team or moving to Newark. The team is very simply not for sale and any stories that suggest or insinuate that we would be interested in listening to those conversations are flat out false. We are focused on breaking ground on the Barclays Center in Brooklyn later this year and building all of Atlantic Yards, nothing else.”

  Report: Newark’s Booker, Devils Seeking Group to Buy Nets from Ratner [UPDATED]