Steve Cohen is inching closer to becoming the majority owner of the New York Mets, but that’s not enough for the hedge-fund billionaire.
News broke Last Friday that Steve Cohen had won the bidding war for the New York Mets. According to Scott Soshnick of Sportico, the winning bid was $2.35 billion, a $250 million savings from Cohen’s previously agreed upon deal.
The next step is for Cohen to be thoroughly vetted by MLB and the 29 other owners before a final vote. According to Charles Gasparino of Fox Business, that’s all just a formality at this point. The real challenge for Cohen, is going to be his pursuit of SNY.
— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) September 1, 2020
The Wilpons haven’t been willing to part with SNY in any sale for the team. Even when Cohen offered to pay $2 billion for the cable network, the Wilpons were defiant. With the sale of the team closing, that attitude is likely to change.
With Cohen the sole bidder left in the process, the Wilpons can have substantial negotiations with him over SNY. Those talks are very complicated as Comcast also owns a large chunk of the network.
SNY is the team’s big moneymaker. It earns more than any other part of the team, and has been credited with keeping the team afloat financially. However, it doesn’t come without its own risks.
The Wilpons have taken out a number of loans against SNY, just like they’ve done with the Mets. It’s likely that the combined debt from the Mets and SNY nears $1 billion.
That means Cohen is spending way more money than is being reported. The sale price for the Mets may be $2.35 billion, as Soshnick reported, but adding in the debt from the team it’s closer to $2.9 billion. If he spends another $2 billion on SNY he’d have to pay off those debts too, which would cost another $350-500 million.
Will Cohen be willing to spend an incredible amount of money in his first year an owner if he’s already spent over $5 billion just buying the team and SNY, and paying off the debts on both?