MLB commissioner: ‘Hopeful’ Mets sale will be approved
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Steve Cohen buying the New York Mets and the financial impact of coronavirus on baseball.
After billionaire hedge fund magnate Steve Cohen signed an agreement to purchase the New York Mets earlier this month, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred raised hopes that the sale will be approved by November.
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“A record-setting price for the purchase of the Mets in the middle of the pandemic reflects the fundamental underlying faith in our business, the strength of our business over the long haul, like everyone else, we’re facing economic challenges as a result of the pandemic,” Manfred told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria."
Manfred went on to say, “We’re going to have a very thorough ownership review process as we always do. We’ll make sure that the owners have all of the facts before they get together to vote and I am hopeful that the sale will be able to be approved."
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The agreement is subject to approval by MLB team owners. At least 23 owners would have to vote in favor of Cohen taking control of the Mets in order for the deal to be finalized.
The deal’s financial terms were not disclosed. Sportico reported that Cohen would own about 95% of the franchise, with the Wilpon and Katz families holding the remaining 5%. The agreement purportedly values the franchise at $2.42 billion, which would establish a new MLB record.
Manfred said that Cohen is acquiring a "good value."
“At the outside, I would hope to have the process complete by our owners meeting this schedule in November. We may be able to get it done a little more quickly than that,” Manfred said.
“In terms of valuation… there's 30 clubs. They’re a very scarce asset. We’ve seen a very very strong record of franchise appreciation and I think Mr. Cohen is actually getting a good value,” Manfred said.
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Cohen would become one of the richest team owners in professional sports, with a personal net worth of more than $14 billion, according to Forbes.
Cohen edged out a competitive field of prospective buyers that included offers from a group led by former MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez and actress Jennifer Lopez as well as a group led by Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment, the current owners of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
Fox News' Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.
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