Steve Cohen enters exclusive negotiations to buy Mets from Wilpons: source

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NEW YORK — Steve Cohen is making Mets fans’ dreams come true.

The hedge-fund billionaire has entered exclusive negotiations to buy the Mets and is expected to reach a deal within days, a source confirmed to the Daily News.

The group led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez are no longer in pursuit of the club. CNBC’s David Faber was the first to report the news.

In a statement released by singer/actress Lopez, who is engaged to Rodriguez, the couple said they wish the Mets organization well. Rodriguez and Lopez were joined by Vitamin Water co-founder Mike Repole and Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola in their attempt to purchase the Mets.

“Alex and I are so disappointed” Lopez tweeted. “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!! #NYForever”

The full statement from Rodriguez and Lopez is below:

“The consortium led by Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez has informed the Mets that they are no longer pursuing the acquisition of the team. The consortium, which included Vincent Viola, Mike Repole, and Marc Lore had submitted a fully funded offer at a record price for the team which was supported by binding debt commitments from JP Morgan and equity commitment letters from credit worthy partners. The consortium said that they are disappointed to not be part of the revitalization of New York City and provide an exhilarating experience for the fans and wish the Wilpon family and the entire Mets organization well.”

The Wilpons were expected to receive final bids on Monday.

Jeff Wilpon, in a statement provided by a Mets spokesman, said: “We won’t be giving details or updates on the timeline or process until we are prepared to make a public announcement.”

The transfer of power from Mets CEO Fred and COO Jeff Wilpon to Cohen will end the Wilpon/Katz ownership reign that has been involved in team control since 1980. Fred Wilpon, Nelson Doubleday and John O. Pickett bought the Mets for $21 million that year, when Wilpon owned just 1% of the team. In 1986, he exercised a clause in the deal that let him buy the Mets. Wilpon finally became the sole owner of the team in 2002.

Cohen, who has a net worth around $14 billion, still needs approval from 23 of 30 MLB owners before he can assume team control. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Cohen’s past insider trading allegation should not break his deal to buy the Mets.


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