Cohen agrees to buy Mets in record deal
Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has agreed to acquire Major League Baseball’s New York Mets in a deal which values the team at $2.475 billion, a record for a North American sports team.
The agreement between the 64-year-old billionaire and current owner Sterling Partners was announced on Monday evening.
Lifelong Mets fan Cohen’s stake will rise from 8 per cent at present to 95 per cent, according to Newsday.
The deal is subject to the approval of the other MLB teams, with 23 of the 29 needing to provide the green light for it to go ahead, with a vote likely to take place at the annual owners’ meetings in November.
Until now, the Mets have been controlled by the Wilpon family, but it emerged last December that the team was on the market, and Cohen was regarded as the favourite only for a deal to collapse in February.
Other potential buyers included Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, the investment vehicle which owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, and a group led by former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and his pop star wife Jennifer Lopez.
However, Cohen’s bid prevailed in August, and he entered exclusive negotiations with the Mets.
The team was founded in 1962 and has won the World Series on two occasions, in 1969 and 1986.