Tue, 24 Nov 2020

MLB owners approve Mets sale to Cohen

Field Level Media
31 Oct 2020, 05:19 GMT+10

The purchase of the New York Mets by billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen was approved Friday by Major League Baseball owners.

The vote of existing owners was conducted via conference call with final approval contingent on the closing of the sale transaction, which MLB expects to happen in within 10 days.

"On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate Mr. Cohen on receiving approval from the major league clubs," commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. "Steve will bring his lifelong passion for the Mets to the stewardship of his hometown team, and he will be joined by highly respected baseball leadership as well. I believe that Steve will work hard to deliver a team in which Mets fan can take pride."

Cohen's proposed purchase of 95 percent of the Mets had already been approved by MLB's ownership committee. The 64-year-old needed 23 of the 30 clubs to agree to deal for it to be completed.

The $2.4 billion deal is the highest price tag paid for a North American sports team. Forbes estimated a net worth of $14 billion for Cohen, who becomes baseball's wealthiest owner.

The last potential hurdle was also cleared on Friday, with Mayor Bill de Blasio signing off on the New York City Law Department's review of the deal.

"The New York City Law Department has completed its legal review of the proposed sale of the @Mets. New York City has no objections and the Mets can now proceed with the transaction," de Blasio wrote on Twitter.

Cohen, who initially bought a minority stake (eight percent) in the Mets in 2012, reached an agreement to purchase the team on Sept. 14.

Cohen is CEO and president of Point72 Asset Management.

The Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz families will keep five percent of the Mets.

The club, which made its debut in 1962, has won two World Series titles (1969, 1986) and lost three other times. It has not made the playoffs since 2016, delivering just one winning season in the last four years.

--Field Level Media

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