Hedge Fund Billionaire Buys Minority Stake in Mets

Hedge Fund Billionaire Buys Minority Stake in MetsFor any baseball fan, childhood dreams may include becoming a pro professional baseball player or owning a team. For billionaire hedge fund owner, Steve A. Cohen of SAC Advisors, he can now he say he’s a minority in his hometown team, the New York Mets.

Cohen, who runs the $14 billion SAC Capital Advisors, recently purchased a four percent stake in the Mets for $20 million, according to Bloomberg.

Jonathan Gasthalter, Cohen’s spokesperson, has not commented.

With his small percentage, Cohen now has owner bragging rights along with access to parking, a luxury box for friends, family and business on a new summer afternoon and parking at the stadium. But it’s also a good deal for both parties.

The troubled Mets franchise gets some much-needed cash and Cohen, an aspiring major league baseball owner who wants to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers, can start–essentially–in the minor leagues like most baseball professionals.

It’s been a tough run for the Mets and its financial future remains a question after its principal owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon had invested with Bernard Madoff, which turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. The trustee for the Madoff trust has brought suit against the two Mets owners for $386 million.

In 2011, Forbes placed a $747 million value on the team with home game attendance that saw a 50 percent drop from 2008’s figure of 4,042,045.

“With Cohen and others buying these small stakes, the Mets will now have greater liquidity to manage through difficult times,” said Robert Boland, a professor of sports business at New York University’s Tisch Center. The Mets were interested in selling minority stakes worth a total of $140 million, Bolafter principal owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon invested in Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. A trustee overseeing the Madoff trust has sued the Mets owners for $386 million.nd said.

 

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