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.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Thursday, February 02, 2012
The deal would not preclude Cohen from pursuing the Dodgers, according to two people familiar with the transaction but not authorized to discuss it. Cohen has cleared a Major League Baseball investigation, the people said, which could bode well for his chances in the Dodgers sweepstakes. The league is more stringent in investigating majority owners than minority owners, but for now MLB has not found any grounds to disqualify Cohen from ownership.
Cohen, whose net worth is estimated at $8.3 billion by Forbes, is the founder of SAC Capital Advisors, a Connecticut-based investment firm. The company's records have been subpoenaed as part of a broad federal investigation in which one current and two former SAC employees have been charged with insider trading. No charges have been filed against Cohen or his company, which has said it is cooperating with the government probe.
Cohen is expected to spend $20 million on one of 10 shares offered for sale by the Mets' cash-strapped owners. The Mets are expected to use the proceeds to repay a $40-million loan to Bank of America and a $25-million loan to MLB.