Mets sale: First-round bidding deadline is hereJuly 9, 2020
The sale process for the Mets finally kicks into gear Thursday with the first-round bidding deadline.
Suitors will be making indicative offers, meaning they will not be making binding bids. The point of the deadline is to see how much everyone might be willing to offer, and perhaps to winnow the field.
Then the Mets will show their full financials to the survivors and ask for committed offers within a few months. That is unless one of the suitors after the first round makes an offer too rich to refuse, which might preemptively end the process.
The favorite is clearly hedge funder Steve Cohen, who is worth $13 billion and if he chooses can outbid anyone else, multiple sources close to the situation said.
Still, the Mets will likely keep at least one and perhaps two others suitors in the process past the first round no matter what to keep competitive pressure on Cohen, sources close to the situation said — especially after what happened earlier this year, when Cohen had signed a non-binding term sheet to buy the Mets for $2.6 billion then tried to change the terms of the deal.
Cohen had initially agreed to let Jeff Wilpon control the team for five years during a transition period. Then Cohen changed his mind and the deal fell apart, sources said.
Now the Mets are selling full control up-front.
The Mets will likely not commit to Cohen until they know they have a binding offer.
Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer are expected to make a competitive offer and have a cleaner bid than their rivals, making it likely they will survive the first-round cut, sources said.
There is no guarantee the required three-quarters of MLB team owners will approve Cohen after he allegedly pulled out of the previous deal in early February, but Harris and Blitzer should have little problem getting approved.
Then there is Alex Rodriguez, who after serving a suspension as a player for taking steroids is also not a guarantee for approval.
A-Rod, though, is the most glamorous bid especially when factoring in his fiancèe, Jennifer Lopez.
As The Post has reported, Lopez and Rodriguez have been spending most of their waking hours in luxury quarantine studying the details of running a baseball team, dreaming up a future for Willets Point as a shopping and entertainment destination, and speaking to key senior players at J.P. Morgan private banking about the financing of their bid on a daily basis.
With the couple’s net worth thought to be in the realm of $750 million, J-Rod have added heavy-money hitters such as financier Vincent Viola and Vitaminwater founder Mike Repole to their lineup.
Viola is a billionaire like Cohen, Harris and Blitzer but is not leading the J-Rod group. So, the J-Rod bid might be a bit cash constrained.
The Mets in a normal season are losing about $90 million, sources said, so a suitor will not only have to pay roughly $2 billion for the team but have to cover losses starting next season.
Longer shots include Kurt Rappaport, a 49-year-old Los Angeles realtor who is putting together a package, and the billionaire Reuben Brothers.
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