Hedge fund manager Steve Cohen is set to be the new majority owner of the New York Mets in a deal that values the team at $2.42 billion. Cohen has reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families following roughly two weeks of exclusive negotiations.
It’ll be the highest-valued North American team purchase in history, beating the $2.275 billion that David Tepper paid to purchase the Carolina Panthers in 2018. The highest deal previously for an MLB team was $2.15 billion for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012.
Cohen will have 95% ownership of the team, with the Wilpon and Katz families retaining 5%. Cohen already owns 8% of the team. SportsNet New York, which broadcasts the team’s games and is majority owned by the Wilpons, was not included in the deal.
Of MLB’s 29 other owners, 23 must approve the deal for it to go through. A vote is likely to take place in November.
Mets And Cohen Timeline:
2002: Wilpon family acquired controlling stake in Mets for $391 million.
2012: Cohen acquired 8% of the team.
Dec. 2019-Feb. 2020: Cohen attempted to purchase up to 80% of the team in a deal that valued the Mets at $2.6 billion. The deal fell apart.
Feb.-April: Alex Rodriguez and fiancee Jennifer Lopez expressed a desire to buy the Mets, and secured JPMorgan Chase for a bid.
June: The owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, Josh Harris and David Blitzer, joined the fray.
July: Cohen was back in the mix, placing a $2 billion bid, besting A-Rod and J.Lo’s $1.7 billion offer and a similar bid by Harris and Blitzer.
Aug. 28: Cohen entered exclusive talks to buy the team.