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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mets Ownership Close to Naming Minority Owner

There were many reports that the Mets were close to landing their sought after minority investor,  Steve Cohen. But according to the NY Post , the deal cooled off.

So the Mets Ownership have been in process for a couple of months and it seems like they are close to getting a legitimate investor/minority owner.

Team ownership has chosen a preferred bidding group led by former commodities trader Ray Bartoszek and investor Anthony Lanza and have been in advanced talks since last week on the proposed deal to sell up to a 49 percent stake in the money-losing team for $200 million, sources told The Post.

The talks are still in process because they have yet to iron out some sticky details, but it could be wrapped up and announced before the end of the month.

"They are pretty close to a deal," a source told the post.

The sticking points to the deal is that the Mets would have to give up a small piece of  SNY, the profitable regional sports network controlled by Sterling Equities, the investment firm run by Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz. Sterling also owns 100 percent of the Mets.

The Mets ownership is hoping to close on a deal by June 30 so it can use the investment cash to fund day-to-day operations and repay some debt.

The Mets took a $30 million emergency loan from Major League Baseball last November and have to pay that back.

Bartoszek and Lanza, both from Westchester, are lifelong Mets fans, sources told the Post.

Bartoszek would be starting a new line of work as his present one closes. Until recently, the 46-year-old had been head of oil trading for the world's biggest commodity trader, earning hundreds of millions of dollars for Glencore International. The Switzerland-based company listed its shares this month in the London Stock Exchange's biggest IPO ever, raising $10 billion.

Lanza, 44, started private equity firm Carriage House Partners.

Quick Note:
With attendance down about 10 percent from last year, the Mets are on track to lose $60 million in 2011.

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