Hedge Fund Manager Buys Stake in New York Mets
Hedge fund manager David Einhorn has bought a stake in the New York Mets, the team confirmed Thursday.
The deal is said to be for $200 million and would be for less than 49 percent ownership of the major league team.
The personal investment by Einhorn is subject to the negotiation of a mutually acceptable definitive agreement for the transaction, as well as required approvals by Major League Baseball.
The parties expect to enter into definitive agreements by late June.
“We are very excited about David joining our ownership group for several reasons,” Fred Wilpon, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, New York Mets, said in a statement. “David’s investment immediately improves the franchise’s financial position."
"Equally important, David’s intelligence, integrity and success in both business and civic affairs provides us with another perspective in evaluating what is best for this organization and our fans, and we welcome his input," the statement continued.
As part of the Mets' press release, Einhorn had this comment:
“Having an opportunity to become part of the Mets franchise is exciting beyond my wildest childhood dreams. I spent my first seven years living in New Jersey and rooting for the Mets ... I look forward to partnering with the Wilpon and Katz families through the good seasons, the tough seasons and especially the championship seasons.”
Einhorn is president of New York based Greenlight Capital, which he began with $1 million in 1996.
The Mets are reportedly expected to lose $70 million this year and are hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. The team has had to borrow money from MLB to pay some of their bills.
The Mets had been searching for a buyer since late January of this year, shortly before the unsealing of a $1 billion lawsuit against Mets owner Fred Wilpon and the co-owner, Saul Katz, by Irving H. Picard, the trustee for victims of convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff.
Picard is seeking funds from Wilpon as a result of Wilpon's investments with Madoff, claiming Wilpon should have known it was a ponzi scheme.
Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo has been mediating talks between Wilpon and Picard.