Saturday, November 05, 2011
The money-losing franchise, shopping $20 million to $30 million minority stakes to as many as 10 buyers, is now telling prospective investors that it is willing to pay 3 percent interest annually on the stakes over six years.
Conversely, an investor can opt to keep his stake should it appreciate at greater than a 3 percent rate. No interest will be paid under this scenario.
The investments will also have some loan characteristics.
People will be able, after a half-dozen years, to cash in their small stakes and get their money back -- with a 3 percent annual kicker tacked onto their principal, sources close to the situation said.
Additionally, the Mets are guaranteeing that the minority owners will not be called on to fund the money-losing team during their investment, three sources close to the situation said.
The $20 million stakes value the Mets at roughly $950 million, sources familiar with the new offer said.
“I do think this makes it more interesting for some people,” a potential buyer said. However, he added that there is no path to control of the team so a suitor would have to be comfortable trusting the maligned co-owners, Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, to run the franchise.
One source familiar with the deal insisted the sweetened offer was not new and characterized the current pitch as basically the same as the first -- just with some tweaking.