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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Megdal: The Mets owners keep peddling a story about new investors, but who’s buying?

Howard’s latest…

In other words, despite months of aggressively seeking buyers, the Mets appear to have found exactly no one, other than people who are already owners, who is willing to risk $20 million in what amounts to a low-return CD from a company with a high chance of bankruptcy.

...The math isn’t that hard: $83 million judgment plus $40 million in bridge loan repayment plus $25 million to M.L.B. plus $100 million to JP Morgan Chase is a far greater sum than the $200 million they’d raise with ten minority owners.

But facing such a problem will require something else first, something that, more than a year after the process started, the Wilpon group doesn’t yet appear to have: a single soul willing to put up real money on the premise that Mets ownership will be good for it.

Here’s what the Mets had to say about it, in a statement: “As has been our practice, we will not comment on any aspect of the limited partnership sale process.”

Repoz Posted: February 23, 2012 at 01:35 PM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, mets

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   1. majorflaw Posted: February 23, 2012 at 01:52 PM (#4067156)
Guess the demand for face time with Mr. Met wasn't as strong as anticipated. Nice try, Fred.
   2. bigglou115 Posted: February 23, 2012 at 01:56 PM (#4067167)
I'm a little surprised. It seems like there should be enough rich fans of NL East teams who would want to keep Wilpon at the helm as long as possible who could shell out $10 Mil.
   3. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: February 23, 2012 at 02:03 PM (#4067170)
It seems like there should be enough rich fans of NL East teams who would want to keep Wilpon at the helm as long as possible who could shell out $10 Mil.


Anyone who has that much money is also probably a fan of their money more than they are a fan of their baseball team. And it sounds like you will part with your money for good if you give it to the Mets.
   4. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: February 23, 2012 at 02:33 PM (#4067200)
Is there a bond rating lower than ZZZ?
   5. Swedish Chef Posted: February 23, 2012 at 03:05 PM (#4067223)
Is there a bond rating lower than ZZZ?

I believe Greece is rated WTF, which is a notch lower than OMG.
   6. Maury Brown Posted: February 23, 2012 at 03:08 PM (#4067227)
Cohen?
   7. Maury Brown Posted: February 23, 2012 at 03:11 PM (#4067230)
So that's six shares. The seventh is from Cohen, who is in the bidding to purchase the Dodgers, and would need to sell whatever Mets share he owns if he manages to buy the Dodgers outright. His purchase amounts to little more than a gesture of goodwill toward Bud Selig and Major League Baseball.
This isn't quite right. Cohen was originally in-line to purchase the full $200M. I think the minority purchase isn't a "goodwill gesture". Strikes me as a fallback plan.
   8. jwb Posted: February 23, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4067247)
Even more damning is the article on Harrington in the sidebar.
   9. TerpNats Posted: February 23, 2012 at 03:38 PM (#4067248)
I believe Greece is rated WTF, which is a notch lower than OMG.
Ladies and gentlemen...the Athens Mets!
   10. Benji Posted: February 23, 2012 at 04:27 PM (#4067276)
You mean they were lying last month about the shares going like hotcakes? The Wilpons lying? Preposterous! That would be like saying Sandy Alderson lies! Wow they are a f'ng nightmare in every way!
   11. flournoy Posted: February 23, 2012 at 04:36 PM (#4067289)
I'm a little surprised. It seems like there should be enough rich fans of NL East teams who would want to keep Wilpon at the helm as long as possible who could shell out $10 Mil.


I can't come up with a number of dollars I'd need to have before this would sound like a good idea to me.
   12. Adam Starblind Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:41 PM (#4067537)

I can't come up with a number of dollars I'd need to have before this would sound like a good idea to me.


Not without veto power over trades and FA signings.
   13. HowardMegdal Posted: February 23, 2012 at 08:53 PM (#4067546)
This isn't quite right. Cohen was originally in-line to purchase the full $200M. I think the minority purchase isn't a "goodwill gesture". Strikes me as a fallback plan.

I'm going to disagree with you here, Maury. Cohen obviously wants to own a majority share of a major league team. If Wilpon chose Einhorn's bid over Cohen's, given that Einhorn's included a path to majority ownership, it is reasonable to assume Cohen's did, too. As we know, that was no bet on the Wilpon ownership group- quite the contrary.

The subsequent willingness to put up 20 million, with corresponding chase after majority share of the Dodgers, speaks volumes about what Cohen really wants.
   14. Mike Emeigh Posted: February 23, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4067579)
And Thursday, Federal District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff will hear arguments about whether he should rule in favor of summary judgment for Picard's seeking of $83 million in fictitious profits Madoff paid the Wilpon group over the final two years of Madoff's scheme. Rakoff has previously indicated that he may well rule in Picard's favor on this. If he does, Wilpon and his partners need to either come up with the $83 million, or post a bond worth 110 percent of the judgment—around $91 million—just to appeal.


Rakoff has said that to win on the $83 million claim, Picard needs only to prove that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz took the money without giving equal value in return. Rakoff also said today that he would rule by March 5, and he banned two of Picard's witnesses (one of whom was Harrison Goldin) and one of the defendants' witnesses from testifying. Wilpon and Katz are arguing that they were legally owed the $83 million by a registered brokerage of which they are clients and that Picard therefore has no claim to the money.

Rakoff hasn't been too kind to Picard throughout this process, so I'm a little bit less inclined than Howard to think he'll rule in favor of Picard here, although it does seem as though he's set the bar rather low.

-- MWE
   15. LionoftheSenate Posted: February 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4067604)
It's amazing no one in NYC can figure out how to finance the Mets properly. New York's version of the Xandou project.
   16. HowardMegdal Posted: February 24, 2012 at 12:52 AM (#4067688)
Rakoff hasn't been too kind to Picard throughout this process, so I'm a little bit less inclined than Howard to think he'll rule in favor of Picard here, although it does seem as though he's set the bar rather low.

Doesn't sound like you and I have any daylight between us. He has been unkind to Picard's POV, but he's also set the bar low (and indicated in his 9/27 opinion that he'd look favorably upon the move).

He's a wild card, though, and anything is possible. Covered today's hearing and he played his cards close to the vest on the question.
   17. Juan V Posted: February 24, 2012 at 01:50 AM (#4067700)
I believe Greece is rated WTF, which is a notch lower than OMG.


They still haven't dropped to the next lowest rating, LMAO.
   18. tshipman Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:15 AM (#4067702)
Sorry to spoil the joke, but Greece's rating is sort of besides the point--their theoretical rate (which would incorporate the risk of default) is so high that the Troika is covering the March 20 rollover of their debt.

Anyone who buys Greek debt now is also junior to existing bondholders--Greece debt could be A rated and no one would buy it.
   19. Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his Handle Posted: February 24, 2012 at 02:35 AM (#4067704)
They still haven't dropped to the next lowest rating, LMAO.

So, any chance of them bottoming out at ROFLCOPTER?

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