The New York Mets are one of the most infamously run baseball teams in the league, dealing often with befuddling (and ownership-led) baseball/financial decisions that seem favor short-term financial gain over long-term performative stability. So when the majority-owning Wilpon Family announced their intentions to sell their majority share of the team back at the beginning of the year, most Mets fans rejoiced.
They rejoiced less, however, when the initial sale to minority owner Steve Cohen was squashed on the one-yard line (due to disagreements over Wilpon’s continued involvement, among other things) and then kicked further down the road by the pandemic. It was all very Mets.
With that said, talks quickly resurfaced as the country and economy settled into its new reality, with new potential buyers, including one group led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez (boy would that have been wild). But in the end, Wilpon came back to the table and was able to take his 8% minor share all the way up to 95%, becoming the majority owner:
Mets announce agreement to sell club to Steve Cohen. According to Sportico, Cohen will own 95 percent of the team, with the Katz and Wilpon families retaining the other 5 percent. Next up for Cohen: Gaining the necessary approval from 23 of 30 owners.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 14, 2020
The Wilpon/Katz families will retain 5% (at least, for now).
Cohen released a brief statement saying “I am excited to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets.”
As Rosenthal pointed out, the deal is not quite done. Cohen will need approval from 23 of 30 owners, but reporting out there indicates that’s likely to come. As an extremely wealthy owner, it’s conceivable that there would be “fear” that Cohen would spend like crazy, but (1) I don’t know how likely that is, and (2) I don’t know that it would scuttle the deal for a guy who is already an 8% owner.
For what it’s worth, the deal values the Mets at approximately $2.475 billion.
BREAKING: Steve Cohen is in agreement to buy the Mets from the Wilpon and Katz families, a source says.
The deal is pending MLB approval.
If and when he is approved, Cohen will own 95% of the Mets.
The deal values the Mets at approximately $2.475 billion.
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) September 14, 2020
And, hey, Forbes had the Mets valued at exactly $2.4 billion back in April – post COVID-19 breakout – so kudos to them. That’s also probably a pretty good indication that the Cubs $3.2 billion valuation is at least still in the ballpark.
Oh, and according to NBC News, with a net worth of $14.6B, Cohen immediately becomes the wealthiest individual majority owner in the league. Maybe he’ll be the one to take advantage of what could be a unique opportunity to *buy* talent. Either way, Mets fans are likely celebrating tonight.