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#pounditFriday, August 7, 2020

Report: Steve Cohen still considered favorite to buy Mets

New York Mets

Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen had the framework of a deal in place to buy the New York Mets earlier this year, but negotiations between him and team owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon fell apart. That does not, however, mean they are dead.

The Mets are set to receive a first round of bids from prospective buyers later this week, and Charles Gasparino of FOX Business Network reported on Monday that the bids are expected to be “weak” and well below what the Wilpons are seeking. While Cohen is not planning to submit a bid this week, Gasparino said Tuesday that the billionaire is still considered the “favorite” to buy the franchise.

Cohen had the framework of a deal in place to buy an 80 percent stake in the Mets at a $2.6 billion valuation, but things fell through in February due to a number of issues. That opened the door for other potential buyers, including former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and his fiancee Jennifer Lopez. A-Rod and J-Lo recently found an investor willing to contribute $250 million to a potential purchase of the team, though it’s unclear if their bid is one of the ones that will be submitted this week.

The value of the Mets may be lower now than it was earlier this year due to the impact of the coronavirus. That could result in bids that are a lot lower than the Wilpons were originally expecting, but they may need to adjust their expectations if they want to sell. If Cohen ends up buying the team, the way the negotiations played out may actually save him money.

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