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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mets to get a cash in January from minority owner shares?

Sandy Alderson said Wednesday that he expected the Mets to get a cash infusion in January when sales to minority investors are expected to close.

Sources familiar with the process recently told ESPNNewYork.com that Fred Wilpon and family had commitments from seven investors to purchase $20 million blocks of the team.

The Mets recently took out a $40 million "bridge loan" from Bank of America in order to have cash on hand until the sales are complete to pay items such as a $25 million bond interest payment owed on the stadium this week.

“I wasn’t even aware of the loan until yesterday, so it couldn’t have had any impact on what I’ve done,” Alderson said. “On the other hand, I’m not surprised. With losses that we sustained last year, they have to be funded somehow -- and that’s either with cash or debt. I think a bridge loan makes perfect sense given the investments that are expected to close in January.”

However, even the new minority investments can be viewed as debt. That's because in six years, those investors have the option of cashing out and getting their principal returned as well as 3 percent annual interest.

How will the new cash in January affect Alderson?

"I wouldn't expect that an influx of capital in January or February or what have you would have a major impact on our payroll for 2012 -- at least going into the season," he said.

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