Fans' bid for Mets likely a no-go

BY foxsports • May 31, 2011

A unique fan-backed plan to bail out the money-losing New York Mets has received a cool reception from MLB, the New York Post reported Tuesday.

A group of Big Apple wheelers and dealers from investment bank Tritaurian Capital concocted a plan to buy a minority stake in the team from financially troubled owner Fred Wilpon partly by selling shares priced at $999 each to thousands of Mets fans, and also by raising money from institutional investors.

The BuytheMets group submitted a bid for the Mets, but MLB — which must approve any investor who buys more than 10 percent of the team — was less than thrilled by the idea of the team selling a significant stake to a group that included thousands of investors, sources said.

Instead, Mets owners Wilpon and Saul Katz are in exclusive talks to sell a minority stake to hedge-fund titan David Einhorn.

"We felt our offer was very competitive with Einhorn's reported proposal," BuytheMets founder William Heyn said. "We have an option that is fully backed. We were there, and we are still there."

"The financial parameters were not a problem," he said. "We think we could have found a way to work with Major League Baseball."

Meanwhile, Einhorn's $200 million deal with the Mets for a 33 percent stake is looking more like a high-interest loan than a partnership.

Einhorn's deal could allow him to acquire a controlling interest in the team after three years unless the Mets owners pay back the $200 million, according to reports.

Suitors bidding for up to a 49-percent stake in the team also included hedge-fund honchos Steve Cohen and Anthony Scaramucci, and commodities trader Ray Bartoszek.

The Mets are in exclusive talks with Einhorn but have not yet reached a definitive agreement.

Read more here.



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