NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — An amazin’ group of fans were willing to step right up and own the Mets — until MLB put the kibosh on their bid.
Investment bank Tritaurian Capital put together a bid for a minority stake in the franchise, based mainly on thousands of shares sold at $999 apiece through BuytheMets.com.
“The BuytheMets group submitted a bid for the Mets, but MLB … was less than thrilled by the idea of the team selling a significant stake to a group that included thousands of investors,” the New York Post reported Tuesday.
Instead, the Mets announced Thursday that they had agreed to sell a minority share of the team to David Einhorn for $200 million. It was not revealed how much of the team Einhorn would own, and negotiations are ongoing.
“We felt our offer was very competitive with Einhorn’s reported proposal,” William Heyn, founder of BuytheMets.com, told the paper. “We have an option that is fully backed. We were there, and we are still there.”
Since then, there have been conflicting reports about details of the deal — including a clause that would give Einhorn an opportunity in the future to purchase a majority share of the Mets.
“This agreement I think is a fair agreement. It’s a win-win agreement,” Einhorn said on Monday. “It covers a lot of the basic goals that I was hoping to achieve in the negotiations. I think it achieved a lot of the basic goals that the Wilpons were trying to achieve in the negotiations and I think it sets us on a path to a very good partnership going forward. And that’s really all I’m going to say about it.”
The deal would help alleviate some of the financial woes plaguing Mets owner Fred Wilpon, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and president Saul Katz. The ownership group is being sued by the court trustee seeking to recover money for victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. The trustee wants the group to repay $1 billion to Madoff’s victims.
The Mets received a loan from Major League Baseball in November, and the influx of money from Einhorn would help pay debts and cover operating expenses. MLB must approve the deal.
“The financial parameters (for BuytheMets’ bid) were not a problem,” Heyn said. “We think we could have found a way to work with Major League Baseball.”
Was MLB right to toss BuytheMets’ bid? Fire away in the comments below…
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