Reports of Steve Cohen’s demise in regards to buying the New York Mets have been greatly exaggerated. According to recent reports, he is still interested.
He ain’t dead yet. After Steve Cohen’s initial deal to buy the New York Mets fell through, it looked like he wanted no part of the current owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon. Reports surfaced in the New York Post on Wednesday that the billionaire hedge fund manager is still interested in buying the team. Not only that, he wants to expand his offer to include the purchase of team owned SNY television network.
Their original arrangement was strange, to begin with. Cohen was buying the team but the Wilpons would retain control of the operations for another five years. It had fans scratching their heads. The explanation given for the delay in management changeover was that the buyer needed time to break away from his main business interests. A month later, the whole thing went by the wayside.
It’s said that shrewd business people don’t let personal feelings get in the way of a good business deal. That’s good because there appears to be lots of animosity between Cohen and the Wilpons. It was clear when the initial agreement to buy the team crumbled, both sides blamed each other for the failed transaction.
New York Mets fans were crushed. Ever since Fred got caught up with the Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme scandal and subsequent fallout he has run the team as if they were in Kansas City rather than the largest market in the country.
With rumors that Fred Wilpon now wants to sell the team at auction, things have picked back up. Even A-Rod is interested in being part of a new ownership group. Apparently an auction was enough to rekindle Cohen’s interest. Current ownership estimates the value of the New York Mets and associated properties in the neighborhood of $3B.
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Cohen seems willing to come close to that but after his first experience with buying the club and their financial outlook, he is still in the neighborhood of $2.6B.
His looming presence and virtually unlimited financial resources, however, are keeping other potential parties from getting seriously involved.
There has to be a way to get a sale completed and quickly. New York Mets fans are ready to run Fred and Jeff out of town on a rail. The Wilpons say they want to sell the team but haven’t shown the good faith to do so. There is a buyer, Steve Cohen, with the financial wherewithal to get a deal done. It’s time for someone like the commissioner to get involved and mediate this whole thing to everyone’s satisfaction.
None of this haggling over selling the team has anything to do with their on-field preparations for the 2020 season. The New York Mets are still solid contenders to make the postseason.