Steve Cohen-watch continues as the New York Mets ownership sweepstakes continue to take shape.
Multiple reports over the last day — including Thornton McEnery of the New York Post and Charles Gasparino of Fox Business — indicate that Cohen is on the verge of reemerging from his hiatus and blowing the doors off the pursuit.
McEnery first reported that Cohen will make “a big push” to by the team with expectations to place a bid this week.
Gasparino added that “weak” bids from other potential suitors — all below $2 billion — puts Cohen “in the driver’s seat,” as the favorite to buy the team.
It’s worth noting that some of the seven pre-approved bidders have been so wary of Cohen, that they needed to receive confirmation from Allen & Co. — the investment bank heading the sale of the Mets — that Cohen was not a part of the process, per McEnery.
This would be the hedge-fund billionaire’s second go at purchasing the Mets after the 8% minority owner’s bid to buy 80% of the club for $2.6 billion fell through in February.
Valued at $13 billion, Cohen could very well re-enter the picture for majority Mets ownership soon, but a source with close knowledge of the situation told amNewYork Metro that something “still seems fishy.”
“Nothing is really new here,” he added. “Seriously, nothing positive has changed.”
Well, maybe except for the price. The Wilpons are looking to get $2 billion for the team, which is a price that none of those pre-approved bidders have offered yet, per reports. The deadline for those seven pre-approved suitors to submit their first bids is Thursday.
It would be a $600 million reduction in the initial price Cohen was poised to buy the Mets for, but the Wilpon family is still not willing to include SNY in the sale of the team. The Mets’ TV network was a point of contention in initial negotiations between Cohen and the Wilpons with the former wanting the network as a part of the sale.
“I mean, it’s the only revenue-generating part of the Mets,” the source told amNewYork Metro, implying that Cohen’s interest could hinge on SNY’s availability.
The Mets currently lose an average of $50 million per year under the Wilpon family while SNY makes an annual profit of $150 million.
Then comes the prospect of bad blood still existing between Cohen and the Wilpons from February’s abandoned deal. That could be yet another hurdle to clear for Cohen’s camp, but money talks — especially for the Wilpons who continue to lose it — and Cohen has plenty of it.