The New York Mets’ sale process has been full of twists and turns. The latest twist is hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen returning to the fray.
Former Huffington Post contributor Laura Goldman is reporting that Steve Cohen is back in the race to buy the New York Mets. The hedge fund billionaire is ready to renegotiate with the Wilpons, but he has some conditions.
Steve Cohen is still interested in the #Mets despite reports to the contrary He will formalize deal terms when the teams are back playing. He isn't interested in reviving the terms of the failed deal. He wants more immediate control and/or SNY. I verified his interest again today
— Laura Goldman (@laurasgoldman) June 16, 2020
First, Cohen isn’t willing to finalize a deal until games are underway. That means if the MLB season is canceled, which seems more likely than ever, this deal could be dead in the water.
If they overcome that hurdle, Cohen also wants more immediate control and/or SNY in the deal. This is a huge change from the original deal between Cohen and the Wilpons.
SNY was not initially included. Cohen didn’t need the network because he was willing and able to take the losses that the team alone brings in, but that likely won’t stand anymore.
With the value of the team tanking by the day, Cohen carries the leverage. That means he’ll likely look to earn the biggest possible bang for his buck, and that means grabbing SNY.
The least surprising part of this deal is that Cohen wants immediate control. The Wilpons’ five-year window of control was what killed the initial deal between the parties. If Cohen is going to jump back into negotiations, he’ll likely need assurances that he won’t have to deal with any control window for the Wilpons moving forward.
That shouldn’t be a problem though, as the Wilpons have reportedly backed off on that precondition in sales talks since the Cohen deal. That doesn’t mean this deal is finalized though.
Cohen now possesses two major competitors for the team. Sports entertainment kings Josh Harris and David Blitzer were seen as the favorites to buy the ballclub just days ago, until news broke on Monday that Harris and Blitzer purchased a stake of less than 5% in the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers. Could it be a sign that they stopped their pursuit of the Mets?
Of course, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez have been in the hunt for the team for months. But without a big-money backer, it seems unlikely they’ll be able to put together a compelling bid.
The door is open for Cohen to swoop in and finish a deal to purchase the Mets, but there are still a number of obstacles in the way.