Source: MLB reviewing Mets-Einhorn deal
The partial sale of the Mets to hedge-fund manager David Einhorn is being reviewed by Major League Baseball, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
The complexity of the deal, the person said, will determine the length of time required for approval. The parties expect the deal to close this month.
On May 26, the Mets announced their intention to sell an undisclosed percentage of the team to Einhorn for $200 million. A person involved in the negotiations listed that percentage at more than 25 but less than 49.
The Mets are expected to use the proceeds from the sale for operating expenses, to reduce debt and to pay back a $25-million loan from MLB. The team also has a $52-million line of credit with MLB.
Owner Fred Wilpon, in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, said the team is "bleeding cash" and could lose up to $70 million this season.
The team, valued at $747 million by Forbes magazine, also is contending with a $1-billion suit brought against Wilpon and Saul Katz by the trustee in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. Wilpon told Sports Illustrated that the team likely would have to be sold if the current owners were held liable for the full amount of the suit.
Einhorn, 42, is the president of Greenlight Capital Inc. He has made two recent visits to Citi Field but offered no substantive comment on what he expects his role to be as a minority partner.