It’s confirmed: David Einhorn is buying a stake in the the Mets!
He’ll purchase a 49% stake for $200 million.
(See full press release below)
On a media call earlier, Einhorn revealed how he came to be involved in negotiations.
The hedge fund manager reached out to the baseball club in about January, he said, after reading a newspaper story that the Mets were seeking to sell a minority interest.
“I called over to the investment bankers,” he said, and became involved in the negotiating process.
When asked why, despite speculation involving a ton of financiers, his name was kept out of press, he answered, “I think the reason that nobody knew was because we didn’t tell anybody.”
He emphasised that the investment was a personal one, based on his love for baseball.
Einhorn described his relationship with Wilpons and Katzs as having “been a very smooth [and] productive” since they first came together.
“In terms of how we got selected, I think from the very first meeting with Fred we just hit it off with a very good personal rapport,” he said. “I think we just decided it made a lot of sense to be in business with one another.”
He said that the Mets is an investment he plans to hold onto for a very long time, and he’s not looking for an exit.
Clusterstock asked the Greenlight chief whether he still owned that Mets costume he wore on Halloween when he was just seven years old.
“That Halloween costume I grew out of a long time ago. The current location is unknown, but if anyone finds it I’d like to have it back!”
Bess Levin at Dealbreaker asked whether he’ll throw out an opening pitch, and on a scale of 1-10, how nervous would be. He laughed and said the details are still TBD.
Earlier today it was mentioned across several news sites that Einhorn was a possibility to buy a portion of the New York baseball team.
Einhorn has been a fan of the team since he was a kid.
And yesterday at the Ira Sohn Conference, where Einhorn was presenting, the hedge funder gave a wink to his new investment.
Earlier in the bidding, other Wall Street names were part of the Mets mix. A group including hedge fund titan Steve Cohen, of SAC Capital, was said to be a leading bidder at one point. David Heller of Goldman Sachs was also revealed as an interested party.
Here’s the release:
The New York Mets today announced that David Einhorn has been selected as the team’s preferred partner and that the Mets and Mr. Einhorn have entered into exclusive negotiations with respect to a minority, non-operating investment in the team.
The $200 million personal investment by Mr. Einhorn is subject to the negotiation of a mutually acceptable definitive agreement for the transaction, as well as required approvals by Major League Baseball. The parties expect to enter into definitive agreements by late June.
“We are very excited about David joining our ownership group for several reasons,” said Fred Wilpon, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, New York Mets. “David’s investment immediately improves the franchise’s financial position. Equally important, David’s intelligence, integrity and success in both business and civic affairs provides us with another perspective in evaluating what is best for this organisation and our fans, and we welcome his input. In partnership with David, we look forward to achieving our ultimate goal of again becoming World Series champions.”
Mr. Einhorn stated, “Having an opportunity to become part of the Mets franchise is exciting beyond my wildest childhood dreams. I spent my first seven years living in New Jersey and rooting for the Mets. In 1975, I even dressed in a homemade jersey as a Met for Halloween. I have been a baseball fan for my entire life and have enjoyed teaching the game as the coach of my daughter’s little league team. I look forward to partnering with the Wilpon and Katz families through the good seasons, the tough seasons and especially the championship seasons.”