Steve Cohen’s pursuit to purchase a majority stake in the New York Mets from Fred and Jeff Wilpon is officially dead.
Both parties announced the termination of their potential deal on Thursday night, days after amNewYork Metro initially reported that the deal was on the verge of collapse.
“The transaction between Sterling and Steve Cohen was a highly complicated one,” the Mets released in a statement. “Despite the efforts of the parties over the past several months, it became apparent that the transaction as contemplated would have been too difficult to execute.”
“Sterling intends now to pursue a new transaction and has engaged Allen & Company to manage that process.”
Cohen — a 63-year-old hedge fund manager worth $13.7 billion — was poised to buy an 80% stake in the organization worth $2.6 billion with negotiations beginning in December.
“I’m very disappointed we couldn’t work out a deal, but as an 8% holder, I’m looking forward to a higher bid for the team,” Cohen said. “I want to thank the fans for their support and the respect they showed me and I want to thank Commissioner Manfred and MLB for their support through the process.”
“I gave it my best shot.”
Rumors of the deal unraveling began on Tuesday when amNewYork Metro learned from a source with close knowledge of the situation that negotiations hit a snag due to governance issues.
Per sources, Jeff Wilpon wanted to have the final say in club matters over a five-year phase-out period despite Cohen committing funds as the majority owner.
Multiple reports mentioned that SNY — the Mets’ television station owned by the Wilpons — was a secondary sticking point in negotiations.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman noted that the Mets could be sold at a future date in “a more typical auction” format. However, no potential buyers are known at this time.