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Thursday, July 28, 2011

NY Times: Mets/Einhorn deal almost finished, waiting for paper work to be completed

The Mets deal to sell a minority stake in the team for $200 million to David Einhorn is finished except for completing the deal’s paperwork, according to the NY Times.

The deal was slowed by Einhorn’s dealings with the banks that have lent the team more than $400 million. The banks are now satisfied with the transaction’s terms (NY Times Source).

The acquisition of a minority stake is usually approved by Commissioner Bud Selig, which would probably give the Mets access to the $200 million as early as next month.

The boatload of cash should be a relief to Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the Mets’ owners, who face a $1 billion lawsuit that has been filed by Irving H. Picard, the trustee for the victims of Bernard L. Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

The Mets expect to lose up to $70 million this season. But their short-term cash needs will be reduced after this season with salary obligations ended to the reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who was recently traded to the Milwaukee Brewers; outfielder Carlos Beltran, who was sent to the San Francisco Giants; and pitcher Oliver Perez and second baseman Luis Castillo, who were released.

Although details of Einhorn’s deal have not been made public, the NY Times reports he would get a third of the Mets for $200 million and a pathway to majority ownership within about five years.

He is believed to have an option to buy up to 60 percent of the team. Wilpon and Katz can reject Einhorn’s bid, but would have to repay his $200 million and let him remain a minority owner.

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