Steve Cohen’s pursuit of the Mets might not be finished just yet.
At least, that’s what some around the industry believe.
Speaking with Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic on Wednesday morning, sports bankers and lawyers connected with the sale of the Mets believe Cohen is “waiting in the wings,” which could deter prospective bidders in making a serious push toward ownership.
‘I don’t want to be a stalking horse,’ said one banker who has been contacted by two prospective buyers he described as billionaires. By that he means he fears he will prepare a buyer, only to see Cohen swoop in with a better offer.
Cohen’s $2.6 billion deal to take over 80% of the team from the Wilpon family fell through two weeks ago when governance issues arose around the five-year phase-out plan that would’ve kept Jeff Wilpon as the final decision-maker despite Cohen’s majority ownership.
That was the original plan of the agreement, but Cohen did not make the realization until later on in negotiations, which helped lead to the fallout, per Josh Kosman and Thornton McEnery of the New York Post.
Such actions initially led the conclusion that Cohen might not be able to mount another charge at ownership, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
A source with close knowledge of Cohen’s camp told amNewYork Metro on Wednesday that “anything is possible.”
While he expressed remorse at the inability to take over the team, the Wilpon-owned Sterling Equities revealed that they were still looking for a suitor to assume majority ownership.
Per Kaplan, it appears that SNY — the Wilpon-owned regional sports network that broadcasts all regular-season Mets games — will be included in the transferral of ownership, too.
That was not the case during Cohen’s pursuit.
Since the deal fell through, the market for new potential suitors has been an arid one as Thornton McEnery of the New York Post reported last week that former slugger Alex Rodriguez could be interested in buying his boyhood club.
Rodriguez’s representation failed to respond to multiple requests for comment by amNewYork Metro.
While Cohen’s presence might be offputting to potential buyers, the fact of the matter is that the Mets are still a team dealing with considerable financial losses with an owning tandem that has made it impossible to loosen their grip on the club over the years.