New York Mets valued at ‘US$2.6bn’ in potential Steve Cohen takeover

US billionaire in talks with Sterling Partners to up MLB team stake to 80%.

5 December 2019 Sam Carp
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American hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen is in talks with New York Mets ownership group Sterling Partners to become the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise’s majority shareholder.

According to Bloomberg, Cohen, who purchased a minority stake in the Mets in 2012, could buy a stake of up to 80 per cent in the team in a deal that would value the franchise at US$2.6 billion.

The deal would take five years to complete, seeing current owner Fred Wilpon continue as the Mets’ chief executive and control person during that time, while his son Jeff Wilpon would remain in his role as chief operating officer.

Meanwhile, Cohen, who according to Forbes is worth US$13.6 billion, will remain chief executive and president of Point72 Asset Management, while his Mets interests will continue to be managed by his family office, Cohen Private Ventures.

In the same year that he bought a minority stake in the Mets, Cohen had tried to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for US$2.15 billion but was ultimately frustrated in his efforts.

Fred Wilpon first purchased a one per cent stake in the Mets in 1980. He then shared a 50-50 interest in the team with Nelson Doubleday from 1986 before finally becoming the franchise’s majority owner in 2002, when his ownership group bought out Doubleday’s half for US$391 million.

Most recently, it was reported by the New York Post that Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Partners had agreed a deal worth US$180 million to buy back a 12 per cent stake in the Mets from cable giants Comcast and Charter Communications.

Should Fred Wilpon sell his majority interest to Cohen, the Mets would be the second MLB team to change hands in recent times, after the Kansas City Royals confirmed in November that John Sherman had completed his US$1 billion takeover of the club.

American hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen is in talks with New York Mets ownership group Sterling Partners to become the Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise’s majority shareholder.

According to Bloomberg, Cohen, who purchased a minority stake in the Mets in 2012, could buy a stake of up to 80 per cent in the team in a deal that would value the franchise at US$2.6 billion.

The deal would take five years to complete, seeing current owner Fred Wilpon continue as the Mets’ chief executive and control person during that time, while his son Jeff Wilpon would remain in his role as chief operating officer.

Meanwhile, Cohen, who according to Forbes is worth US$13.6 billion, will remain chief executive and president of Point72 Asset Management, while his Mets interests will continue to be managed by his family office, Cohen Private Ventures.

In the same year that he bought a minority stake in the Mets, Cohen had tried to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers for US$2.15 billion but was ultimately frustrated in his efforts.

Fred Wilpon first purchased a one per cent stake in the Mets in 1980. He then shared a 50-50 interest in the team with Nelson Doubleday from 1986 before finally becoming the franchise’s majority owner in 2002, when his ownership group bought out Doubleday’s half for US$391 million.

Most recently, it was reported by the New York Post that Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Partners had agreed a deal worth US$180 million to buy back a 12 per cent stake in the Mets from cable giants Comcast and Charter Communications.

Should Fred Wilpon sell his majority interest to Cohen, the Mets would be the second MLB team to change hands in recent times, after the Kansas City Royals confirmed in November that John Sherman had completed his US$1 billion takeover of the club.

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