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Mets Sold - Steve Cohen Buys 95% of Mets

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  • Mets Sold - Steve Cohen Buys 95% of Mets

    Mets Reveal Long-Term Plan for Wilpons
    to Sell 80% of Team to Steve Cohen

    by Mark Powell
    4 Dec 2019, 4 PM ET

    Surely, this is news Mets fans young and old have been waiting on for decades.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	$.jpg Views:	0 Size:	49.0 KB ID:	9645Wilpons are relinquishing some control over Mets in five-year period The Wilpons, Fred and Jeff, who own a majority portion of the New York Mets, have long dealt with scandal off the field and improper front office management of the ballclub. The Wilpons' connection to the Bernie Madoff scandal shed a poor light on the franchise and the owners who oh so often failed to put necessary financial backing into a team teetering between contention and a laughing stock. Their connection with the scandal has, in many ways, contributed to their myriad failed attempts to put on a happy face, and has restricted their finances to small-market levels.

    Well, here's a breather, Flushing.

    On Wednesday, Ken Rosenthal confirmed a report from Tiki Barber (really) that the Wilpons are relinquishing some of their stronghold on the ownership stake of the Mets to Steve Cohen over the next five years.

    Ultimately, it boils down simply: the Mets are looking to sell 80% of the team to hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, who would control the franchise following a five-year period.

    The narrative surrounding Mets ownership has long been their ineptitude and unwillingness to put the necessary product on the field to compete in the National League, and draw fans in a city which always supports a winner. Mets fans are some of the best and most resilient in baseball, but their constant negativity about ownership has been steadily built from routine failures, and avoidable ones at that.

    Cohen's inclusion does not necessarily mean more money will pour into the current roster, but it does give Mets fans a glimmer of hope that legitimacy from the top down is just around the corner.

    For once, Mets fans have reason to be excited long-term.

  • #2
    Even the mlb site has information on it...which hopefully means that their incompetence and meddling might eventually be minimized
    The Sterling Partners and Steve Cohen are negotiating an agreement in which Steve Cohen would increase his investment in the New York Mets. As part of that agreement, Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in


    • #3
      Forbes doesn't think the Wilpons will really still be in control:

      The $2.6 billion price tag is plausible—we valued the Mets at $2.3 billion earlier this year—but I do not believe for a second that the Wilpons will be running the team for a nanosecond if the transaction is approved by MLB.

      According to my sources, Cohen, who is currently a minority owner of the Mets, would immediately own at least a tad over 50% should the deal be approved. Why would anybody buying a majority stake in a dysfunctional business allow the folks who ran it dysfunctionally for years keep running it? Time is of the essence.

      Oh, I’m sure you’ll still see the Wilpons around Citi Field, in their suite and in their executive offices. But calling the shots? No way. The Mets badly need to boost attendance and revenue at Citi Field and make hefty debt payments on their ballpark. They also have a lot of debt on their regional sports network as an indirect result of the Bernie Madoff debacle.

      Cohen isn’t going to pay more than $2 billion to sit on his hands for five years and potentially watch things get worse.
      No way Steve Cohen doesn't run the team if he buys a majority stake.


      • #4
        Steve Cohen in Talks to Increase Investment in Mets

        by Steve Adams
        4 Dec 2019, 5:04 PM CDT

        The Mets announced this afternoon that minority owner Steve Cohen and the Sterling Partners (owner Fred Wilpon’s company) are negotiating a deal in which Cohen “would increase his investment in the New York Mets.” The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal first reported the news just minutes before the organization made a formal announcement (Twitter link).

        The arrangement would make Cohen the new majority owner of the Mets if it is indeed completed, as Bloomberg reports that the proposed sale of shares would give him an 80 percent share of the team, which is being valued at $2.6 billion. Newsday’s Tim Healey tweets that Cohen would become the Mets’ control person heading into the 2025 season under the current proposal.

        Under the terms of the yet-to-be-finalized agreement, Fred Wilpon (the co-founder and senior partner of Sterling Equities) would remain the Mets’ CEO and control person for another five years. His son, Jeff Wilpon, would also remain COO for another five years. Cohen will continue on as CEO of Point72 Asset Management, per the announcement.

        Any ownership-level shakeup, of course, can have payroll implications for a team, but there’s no immediate indication that the Mets will increase spending in the near future. To the contrary, multiple reports this week have indicated that the Mets may need to move some undesirable contracts before spending further this winter — a reality that has long since been apparent to any who’ve closely examined the team’s payroll outlook. As for what would happen with regard to team payroll down the line, that can’t be known at this time, but it’s worth highlighting that the Bloomberg Billionaire Index lists Cohen’s net worth at a staggering $9.2 billion.

        Today’s announcement seemingly puts a finite window on the Wilpons’ rein atop the organization and, as ESPN’s Buster Olney points out (Twitter link), perhaps explains why the club has been so focused on winning as soon as possible and making splashy moves toward that end. The Wilpon family has long been among the most highly scrutinized ownership groups in all of Major League Baseball, with reports of organizational dysfunction and over-involvement in more granular aspects of day-to-day operations becoming commonplace in recent years.

        Drew's Sig


        • #5
          Hot dog! Finally, we can become serious about winning again. Finally, we can spend with no hesitation. Finally, we can put the Madoff scandal behind us.


          • #6
            Originally posted by jeffmetsfan View Post
            Hot dog! Finally, we can become serious about winning again. Finally, we can spend with no hesitation. Finally, we can put the Madoff scandal behind us.
            The irony of it though....fixing the repercussions of one financial crime by getting bought out by a hedge hog giant that has been accused and investigated for insider trading (settling out of court for a humongous fine). But at this point, I would even take Trump as a principal owner over the fake family values of the Katzpon empire


            • #7
              Despite being in the media capital and one of the biggest mlb markets, the Mets have not ranked in the top 10 for payroll since 2011...
              The Wilpons’ tenure has been fraught with organizational mismanagement, much of it attributed to ownership meddling.


              • #8

                Lennon: Unlike Wilpons, potential Mets owner would spend

                By David Lennon @DPLennon
                5-7 minutes

                Imagine a day when money isn’t a concern for the Mets. When players like Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon are no longer Tiffany necklaces on the other side of bulletproof glass, always for somebody else to buy. When homegrown talents like Zack Wheeler get paid to stay in Flushing rather than return wearing a division rival’s uniform.

                That day isn’t here yet. But it’s coming. Oh yes. Finally, it’s coming.

                Because after the deal receives approval from Major League Baseball and the billionaire hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen assumes control of the franchise — which is scheduled to happen five years from the sale currently being negotiated — the Mets will be run by the richest individual owner in Major League Baseball.
                Go ahead. Read that last line again. As a long-time chronicler of Mets’ matters, many colored by financial restrictions, we’re having trouble wrapping our brain around that. Cohen’s net worth, as reported by Bloomberg, is $9.2 billion, and the team itself issued a statement Wednesday that basically spelled out the terms of succession.

                In so many words, the Mets admitted that Cohen would be increasing his stake in the team (currently at 8 percent) while Fred and Jeff Wilpon would remain in their existing roles for five years. Fred is listed as the Control Person and CEO with Jeff as the COO, but their tenure as shot-callers for the franchise is now on the clock.
                The statement didn’t provide any detail into what happens after those five years, but a person familiar with the negotiations assured that Cohen will take control of the team at that point. And it’s not a stretch to suggest that the Mets will then be operated in a way that hasn’t been seen since the Madoff scandal,with Cohen flexing as much financial muscle as any franchise in the sport. And likely more.

                As one friend of Cohen put it Wednesday upon hearing the news, “He plays to win.”

                We used to say the same about the Wilpons. There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Mets pursued every high-priced player, whether it was Carlos Beltran or Pedro Martinez or Tom Glavine or Johan Santana. After Madoff, however, money became more of a concern, and while the Mets built themselves up to back-to-back playoff appearances— with a 2015 World Series trip — their reluctance to spend on a large scale again remained an obstacle to sustained success.

                Writing huge checks, of course, doesn’t guarantee a title. Or even playing in October. But when you’re the Mets, being a big-market team has to mean more than Citi Field’s zip code. It comes with a greater responsibility, especially with fans paying New York prices. You don’t have to throw cash at problems. But fixing obvious needs with the best solutions money can buy is just good business, and the Wilpons had lost their way in that regard, with an eye always on the budget rather than the ultimate prize.

                To them, running the Mets eventually got reduced to that compromise. How could they balance the books and still (hopefully) field a competitive team? And then we learned Wednesday that the situation evidently was more dire than we thought. Not only were the Wilpons driven by the bottom line, they were looking to cash out, and ultimately found a deep-pocketed parachute in Cohen, a friendly face who grew up a Mets fan in Great Neck and already owned a piece of the club.

                In Cohen, the Wilpons seem to have engineered the best possible exit. Rather than get immediately replaced, the Wilpons still can ride out the transition in their executive roles, though it’s unclear how much of that power they truly will retain as Cohen’s share increases over these five years. Bloomberg reported that Cohen is looking to own 80 percent of the team, but along that timeline, he could reach a majority stake before ultimately getting to that number.

                So what happens between now and then? In the short term, you probably won’t see much of a difference. The sale hasn’t gone through yet, and we’re talking about a team that’s worth an estimated $2.6 billion, so it could take a while. It’s not like Cohen can just wire a half-billion on Venmo for the Wilpons to use on Cole and Rendon to pump up their chances in 2020.

                Ideally, you’d think the Wilpons, with the end in sight, would try to go all out for a World Series title inside of this five-year window, to end the Mets’ 33-year championship drought under their stewardship. To get one last chance at being the heroes. But if they’ve already crunched the numbers on this sale, does it make any sense for them to spend more, or go over the luxury-tax threshold? Probably not.

                One day, presumably under Cohen’s ownership, you won’t have to worry about these things anymore. And that day is coming. Finally.

                By David Lennon @DPLennon

                Imagine a day when money isn’t a concern for the Mets. When players like Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg and Anthony Rendon are no longer Tiffany necklaces on the other side of bulletproof glass, alway


                • #9
                  How bad things must be. It has been reported that the Wilpons would like to win before there time as dictators, er owners, of the Mets is up. Arguably the window is closing as we get closer to losing another starter or two and yet they are sitting on their hands (as many predicted) while others in the division, notably the Phillies and Braves get better (not to mention the cross-town rivals). The tent will not come down fast enough for this circus.


                  • #10
                    How much is he willing to spend to get that W? Let's assume he gets his 5 year window as part of the package. You have to assume that Cohen will have a clause that says any deals that flow into his time as owner he gets right of refusal... IE: He can't sign Rendon for 15M per year for the next 5, and then 60M for the following 3 (total 255), or a pitcher that is in his prime now and FMV, but will likely be a payroll hit when Cohen takes over. I doubt Cohen is looking to take over a team that went all in and now is looking solely at an expensive rebuild without getting something else out of it.

                    So assuming that's the case, he's going to have to live on shorter deals or front loaded deals, which is a hard way to get anything done, and be absolutely willing to blow through the luxury tax, which it does NOT appear is the case.

                    Short of that, not sure how he gets that ring before heading into the sunset...


                    • #11

                      Drew's Sig


                      • #12
                        Read in an article at that it's possible that Cohen buys 75 % of the Mets instead of 80 %. The reason being that at 75%, he doesn't have to get voted on for approval. At 80%, he needs approval from mlb baseball and 75% of the owners.
                        Last edited by saxon; 14-Dec-2019, 11:49 AM.


                        • #13
                          Baseball's vote on Cohen taking control of the team would not happen until he tried to increase his stake to 80%.


                          • #14
                            Billionaire Steve Cohen’s Bid to Buy Mets Is On Life Support
                            by Thornton McEnery
                            4 Feb 2020, 5:14 PM ET

                            Steve Cohen’s $2.6 billion bid to buy the Mets is on life support — if alive at all.

                            Sources close to the situation are confirming that the billionaire hedge fund manager is ending negotiations with the Wilpons on his purchase of an 80 percent stake in the franchise. According to those sources, Cohen is deeply unhappy with the Wilpons changing the terms of the deal at a very late stage and has decided to walk away.

                            When rumors broke that the Cohen deal was dead on Tuesday, the Mets offered a strangely worded non-denial.

                            “The parties are subject to confidentiality obligations, including a mutual non-disclosure agreement, and therefore cannot comment,” a statement read.

                            Sources close to Cohen tell The Post that the 63-year-old, $13 billion man is taking the NDA more seriously than the Wilpons and is holding his tongue for the time being.

                            This is the second time that a deal to sell the Mets to a local billionaire hedge fund manager has fallen through. In 2011, the Wilpons tried to tweak a deal with David Einhorn, who similarly balked at the machinations and publicly walked away, accusing the Wilpons of bad faith in the final stages of his deal.

                            Drew's Sig


                            • #15
                              No surprise here. The article fails to point out that the purchase from Nelson Doubleday was reported to be much less than an amicable transaction.


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