Steve Cohen agrees to purchase Mets for reported $2.4B fee


Billionaire Steve Cohen has reached an agreement to purchase majority ownership of the Mets from the Wilpon and Katz families, the team announced Monday. Cohen will own 95 percent of the franchise, should the deal go through. Cohen has a net worth of approximately $14.1 billion.

Cohen also entered negotiations to buy the Mets a year ago, but the deal fell apart in February. The deal that failed to close would have seen him acquire an 80% controlling share in a transaction that valued the team at $2.6 billion.

Cohen first bought into the Mets when the team sought $20 million minority investment stakes following the collapse of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which heavily cost the Wilpons and their companies.

After the franchise spoke with several potential suitors, Cohen, a hedge fund manager and native of NY, entered exclusive negotiations to buy the Mets last month.

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They now have their wish, as the sale transfers one of the league's potential jewel franchises, which has been plagued by mismanagement and a propensity for public embarrassment, into the hands of an owner in far better position to leverage the financial advantage that typically comes with being a team that calls New York City home.

Fred Wilpon has held an ownership stake in the club since 1980. Fred Wilpon, the franchise's current chairman and CEO, became the sole majority owner in 2002.

Cohen edged out a competitive field of prospective buyers that included offers from a group led by former Major League Baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez and actress Jennifer Lopez as well as a group led by Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, the current owners of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers and NHL's New Jersey Devils. Capital Advisors, pleaded guilty in 2013 to insider trading and agreed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to pay $1.8 billion in fines and forfeitures. Katz, the owner's brother-in-law and partner in the real estate firm Sterling Equities Inc., became team president and Jeff Wilpon became COO.