The Mets

Despite the clouds looming over billionaire Steve Cohen for “rampant insider trading,” he appears as cozy as ever with New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon. Cohen and Wilpon both shelled out money to sponsor a baseball exhibit now on display at the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, according to the museum’s Web site. Questions have arisen over whether Cohen’s recent legal woes might force him to sell his minority stake in the Mets. After all, the baseball empire was recently burned by its ties to Bernard Madoff, another troubled hedge-fund manager. But Cohen and Wilpon’s names are at the top of the lineup card of sponsors on display at the exhibit, titled “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American” — suggesting there’s a kindred spirit. [NYP]

Henry Winkler once said, “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.”1 In 2011, Bill Ackman assumed it was okay to talk to The New York Times about David Einhorn’s business and, like a homeowner forced to move out for three days while a pest control company sprays the place, he’s been forced to pay. Big time. Read more »

  • 21 Mar 2012 at 3:27 PM

Bernie Madoff Not Feeling Wilpon Settlement

Convicted fraudster Bernie Madoff was “desperately disappointed” that the owners of the Mets chose to settle the fraud lawsuit brought on behalf of victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, CBS News reported Wednesday. “He wrote me last weekend that he was so looking forward to that trial,” said Diane Henriques, author of the book “Wizard of Lies” which detailed Madoff’s fraud. “He was hoping that the Mets’ defense would make the case he was making to me that they had no reason to doubt Madoff.” The trustee for Madoff’s victims, Irving Picard, was set to argue at trial that Mets owner Fred Wilpon, once a friend of Madoff and a longtime investor, was willfully blind and chose to ignore signs that Madoff was producing fraudulent returns. Henriques told CBS that in recent emails from prison Madoff blasted Picard, who was seeking more than $300 million at trial. “He calls Picard a fool, an amateur, says he doesn’t understand the market, says he never understood the market, that he’s just lost on Wall Street,” Henriques said. [NYP]

The Mets have received commitments from billionaire hedge-fund investor Steve Cohen and six other investors to purchase $20 million minority shares in their embattled club, sources familiar with the deal told the Daily News on Wednesday. The team expects to secure commitments for three remaining shares in the near future, and hopes to complete the offering soon, the sources said. The Daily News first reported last month that the Mets were close to finalizing at least five of the $20 million shares. The stake in the Mets would not prevent Cohen, ranked 35th last year in Forbes’ “400 Richest People in America,” from purchasing the Dodgers, but he would have to sell his interest in the Mets if he completes the deal for the Los Angeles team. [NYDN, related]

Steven Cohen may yet own the Los Angeles Dodgers. But he still hasn’t given up hope of buying a chunk of his favorite baseball team. The SAC Capital Advisors founder is expected to buy one of the 4% stakes in the New York Mets currently on offer. The Mets plan to sell 10 such stakes—although the team’s current owners plan to buy at least two of the slices—to raise $200 million in an effort to pay down the team’s huge debt, while simultaneously allowing Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz to maintain control of the team…Buying the Mets stake would not keep Cohen from buying the Dodgers—although if he wins the latter, he’d have to sell the Mets share. That could make him a very short-lived Mets owner, as Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is expected to pick his successor by April 1. [FINalternatives]

Just sayin: Read more »

  • 01 Sep 2011 at 11:07 AM

Like Bankruptcy?

In a statement, the Mets said, “After months of negotiations, the parties were unable to reach agreement, and the Mets ownership has decided to explore other options.” [NYT, earlier]