Steve Cohen Fulfills His Dream
“I am excited to have reached an agreement with the Wilpon and Katz families to purchase the New York Mets,” Cohen said in a statement.
In a long and exhausting process, the favorite, and the one that every Mets fan wanted, got the team in the end. That is billionaire and life-long Native Steve Cohen. In doing so, he fulfills a long-time dream to own a major league team, and in this case, his childhood favorite.
This is his second and successful bid to purchase the Mets, much to the dismay of COO Jeff Wilpon.
Original Deal Falls Through, Leaving Sale of Club to Allen & Company
The original agreement in December had Cohen getting 80% of the Mets at a valuation of $2.6 billion. In addition, Mets CEO Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon would remain in control for five years. The deal fell through due to issues over control and an apparent change of negotiations from both sides.
This led to Sterling Equities handing off the sale to Allen & Company in which the club would be sold in an auction-type format. While many believed Steve’s attempt to buy the Mets were dead, he proved everyone wrong. It was reported that he was entering the bidding stakes in July as he joined Josh Harris & David Blitzer along with Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez.
The first auction was held in late July. With all three submitting bids around the $2 billion area. With Harris & Blitzer already owning majority stakes in two other professional franchises, they were looking to purchase the Mets at a discount. When it was clear that that would not be the case, they evidently dropped out.
Steve Cohen Wins Exclusive Negotiation Rights to Club
Alas, it was down to the two childhood Mets fans, with the exception that Steve has a lot more cash than his opponents group. Nonetheless, Alex Rodriguez and co. worked extremely hard to try and build up as much cash as possible to purchase the team. On August 28th, Jennifer Lopez released a statement as follows.
Alex and I are so disappointed!! We worked so hard the past 6 months with the dream of becoming the first minority couple and the first woman owner to buy her father’s favorite Major League Baseball team with her own hard earned money. We still haven’t given up!!” Lopez wrote on Instagram.
Thus, Steve Cohen was the last man standing and was allowed exclusive negotiation rights to purchase the club. Over the last three weeks since that announcement, an official agreement has taken place. The Mets will be Steve Cohen’s team, pending owners approval at the November meeting. He is expected to be approved as the next Mets owner despite past issues. This would require 23 of the league’s 30 owners to approve and once that is achieved, Steve will be in full control.
Mets Sold for a Record $2.475 billion
Cohen will be taking 95% of the team, with the Wilpon’s left with the remaining five percent of the team. The deal values the Mets at a record $2.475 billion, a record for a North American franchise. That surpasses the previous record of $2.275 billion that the NFL’s Carolina Panthers were sold for.
The sale will end the Wipon’s family reign of the Mets which began in 1980. With the Wilpons holding a mere one percent. By 2002, Fred Wilpon bought out the Mets other owner, Nelson Doubleday and was the majority owner of the club. After eighteen years as majority owners, the Wilpons will be more remembered for their failures rather than their successes. This is because they managed to field only three postseason teams, two division winners, and one pennant winner. The Steve Cohen era will begin next season, to the delight of the Mets faithful.