Friday, January 31, 2014
The New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and family, who faced a massive $250 million loan against the team coming due in the next few months, have successfully arranged for it to be refinanced, according to a published report.
The NY Post reported that the refinanced loan will not come due for seven years, freeing the cash-strapped owners from an immediate, burdensome obligation that could put their ownership of the team in peril.
The newspaper added that interest payments will remain about the same for team owners under the new terms. They will not be required to immediately pay down any principal as part of the refinancing agreement -- avoiding the type of immediate lump-sum obligation that could trip them up.
The refinanced loan reportedly also does not restrict the Mets' payroll, whereas the original loan's terms capped how much the Mets could spend on players. The Mets' payroll currently is about $87 million for 2014 -- well below what is customary in a large market such as New York.
The owners have faced financial peril in recent years in part because they invested in swindler Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. They recently sold minority ownership shares in the club in order to pay down debt, including a loan from Major League Baseball.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
The cash infusion, comes thanks to their majority ownership of the SNY regional sports network. One benefit of owning a network like SNY is the ability to borrow money against it. SNY’s annual revenue is in the hundreds of millions of dollars because of monthly subscriber fees that keep increasing regardless of team performance.
The resulting stability and financial muscularity of SNY and similar networks make them low risks to banks. Late last month, SNY refinanced $450 million in existing bank loans at lower interest rates and borrowed at least $250 million more. With their 65 percent ownership of SNY, Wilpon and Katz should have walked away with about $162.5 million. The refinancing was first reported Friday by Bloomberg.
The Mets could use the money to either pay back loans or working capital... A New York Times report suggest the Mets can also get into the Free Agent Market, especially the outfield market...
The best free-agent outfielder still available, by far, is Michael Bourn, the 30-year-old, left-handed-hitting center fielder who hit .274 for the Atlanta Braves last season with 42 stolen bases. But Bourn is looking for big money, perhaps as much as $100 million in a multiyear deal, and is represented by the uncompromising Scott Boras, so rule the Mets out.....
But then again, Vince Gennaro, a consultant to several major league teams, suggested the Mets should at least think about Michael Bourn, particularly if he remains unsigned as spring training draws closer and his price drops.