Mets

Mets Secure 7 Of 10 Minority Shares At $20M Each

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Owner Fred Wilpon (L) and his son, Jeff Wilpon, of the Mets (credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Owner Fred Wilpon (L) and his son, Jeff Wilpon, of the Mets (credit: Marc Serota/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Mets are closing in on a much-needed cash infusion.

The team has commitments for seven of 10 minority ownership shares at $20 million apiece. The Mets are trying to sell the limited partnership units to pay off debt and raise capital.

The sale of the shares will not take place until all 10 can close at the same time, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.

According to the New York Daily News, the Mets expect to have their last three commitments “in the near future.”

New York owes $25 million to Major League Baseball, a loan whose repayment was extended from November until March, and $40 million to Bank of America. The team chose to sell limited partnerships following the collapse of a deal last summer with hedge fund manager David Einhorn.

Steve Cohen, bidding to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt, is among those who have committed to become Mets limited partners.

The commitment for seven shares was first reported by Newsday. The Mets hope to be able to complete the sale in the next few weeks.

Mets owners face a trial March 19 on the suit brought by the trustee recovering money for victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. The trustee, Irving Picard, originally sought $1 billion from the Mets’ owners, claiming they should have known millions they collected from Madoff represented phony profits. Owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have denied the claims in lengthy litigation.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed nine of 11 counts on Sept. 27, limiting the exposure of the Mets’ ownership to about $386 million. Rakoff also made it possible the Mets’ payout won’t top more than $83.3 million.

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(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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