New York Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz will sell a minority stake in the troubled team to hedge fund manager David Einhorn for $200 million. The cash will allow the team to remain solvent, and presumably avoid a Dodgers-style takeover by Major League Baseball.
The deal requires MLB approval, which seems likely: Einhorn, who won’t have any control over the team, is a childhood friend of MLB chief Bud Selig. According to the Washington Post:
The Mets said Einhorn will be a “preferred partner” and have a “nonoperating investment” in the team. The club said the deal is subject to the “negotiation of a mutually acceptable definitive agreement” and is expected to be completed next month. Major League Baseball must give its approval.
Einhorn said he first met Fred Wilpon during this sale process. Einhorn has long known Bud Selig, having moved to the baseball commissioner’s hometown of Milwaukee when he was a boy.
Einhorn said his best childhood friend lived next door to the Selig family. When he played ball at his pal’s house, Einhorn recalled, “if we hit it very, very far it went into the Seligs’ yard.
Wilpon recently admitted that the troubled team is “bleeding cash,” and could lose $70 million this year. In addition to financial problems related to low attendance and high debt, Wilpon’s group is being sued by victims of Bernard Madoff’s ponzi scheme for $1 billion.
Mets agree to sell minority interest in team to investor David Einhorn for $200 million [The Washington Post]