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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mets announce the sale of 12 Minority Shares

The Mets have finalized the sales of 12 minority ownership shares and paid back $65 million in outstanding loans to Major League Baseball and Bank of America, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The team has not commented on the deals.

The Mets had been working to finalize the ownership sales for weeks, with two of the shares going to the team's parent company, Sterling Equities, and another four to the partially team-owned cable network SNY. The sales are worth $20 million each for a total of $240 million.

The influx of cash has allowed the Mets to repay a $25 million loan to MLB, which had been outstanding for more than a year, and a $40 million loan they took out with Bank of America in December. The rest of the money is expected to help the team cover operating expenses and potential losses in 2012.

Earlier Monday, before the trial could begin, Mets owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz settled for $162 million with the trustee seeking to recover funds from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

The Mets originally intended to sell one larger minority ownership sale, but they broke off talks to do so with hedge-fund manager David Einhorn last September. At that time, the team revealed an alternative plan to sell multiple, smaller ownership stakes, which has now come to fruition.

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