Billionaire Hedge Fund Manager Steven A. Cohen received two important rubber stamps on Friday, but he bought his $ 2.4 billion Mets: one from Major League Baseball owners and the other from New York City – the latter giving a pose of late ban.
“Owning a team is a great privilege and a wonderful responsibility,” Cohen said in a statement Friday afternoon, adding, “I consider it an honor to be the new owner of this iconic right.”
29 other MLP owners approved Cohen’s group as Mets buyers in a conference call on Friday, the league announced. 23 other owners were needed to vote in favor of Cohen, who had already been tested by the MLP and approved by its owners’ committee. Two people who knew the vote spoke anonymously as the MLP did not release the account, saying the total was 26-4.
The MLA said in a statement that Cohen’s approval to close the sale with the current owners of the Mets continues. It was expected to happen “within the next 10 days.”
MLP Commissioner Rob Manfred in a statement thanked the departed owners, Fred Wilbun, Saul Godz and Jeff Wilbun, and welcomed the 64-year-old Cohen, who has grown into a Mets fan at Great Neck, NU.
“Steve will bring his lifelong passion to being in charge of his hometown on the Mets, and he will also join the highly respected baseball leadership,” Manfred said. “I hope Steve will work hard to provide a team that Mets fans can be proud of.”
In A farewell statement, Fred Wilbun thanked past staff and said being part of the Mets for 40 years was “a privilege and honor for our families”.
“I know Steve Cohen and his family share the same passion we had for the Mets and this city,” he added. . ”
As soon as the MLP owners approved Cohen, Mayor Bill de Blasio – who had the contract to review the contract because the Mets were leasing Cityfield from New York City – announced approval for the sale.
“The New York City Legal Department has completed a legal review of the Mets’ proposed sale,” De Blasio said in a statement Friday afternoon. “New York City is not opposed to the sale and may continue with the Mets transaction.”
Legal Review Citi Field includes a provision in the lease that states that a transfer of ownership is a “permitted transaction” only if the buyer is not a “prohibited person”. The lease agreement defines a “prohibited person” as “directly or indirectly controlling, restricting or in general control with a person, an offender convicted of a crime or any offense involving moral turmoil.”
Cohen was never charged, but his former company, SAC Capital Partners, was found to be involved in insider trading in 2013, and it eventually paid a fine of $ 8 1.8 billion. One of Cohen’s staff, Matthew Martoma, Convicted of internal trade and sentenced to nine years in prison.
Cohen’s current company, Point 72 Asset Management, has been the subject of numerous discriminatory claims by women.
Di Blasio had previously expressed a preference among candidates to buy the Mets: a group led by singer and actor Jennifer Lopez and her husband Alex Rodriguez, a former baseball star and current television analyst. Lopez and Rodriguez made a competitive effort, but Wilbins chose to sell to Cohen, whose assets are estimated to be worth about $ 15 billion.
At a news conference on Thursday, de Blasio said: “Some people try to say it for personal feelings – it doesn’t.” “It is our legal responsibility to do this in the right way.”
A day later, de Blasio announced that he had completed a review of the city. Cohen – seen by Mets fans as a rescuer of an owner who struggled with its finances, its field performance and staff mismanagement – announced the initial gestures, saying they were examples of his intention to be “serious supporters” of his team. The community of the Mets in Queens and beyond.
Cohen said he would donate $ 17.5 million in tax breaks to the New York City Economic Development Corporation to support grant programs run by the city to help local small businesses suffer during corona virus outbreaks.
He also announced that the pay cut for Mets employees, which came into effect in March and ranged from 5 to 30 percent, would be postponed until November 1 – which is worth more than $ 7 million. Cohen also said the Mets will set up a $ 2.5 million relief fund that will contribute up to $ 500 a month to 1,000 seasonal stadium workers from November 1 to the opening day of 2021.
Cohen’s previous attempt to buy the Mets from Wilpins was thwarted. After a deal was reached last winter, the deal collapsed in February on Wilpins’ desire to retain control of the rights for a five-year interim. Several months later, the Mets reopened the auction and Cohen won.
In his statement, Cohen thanked Manfred and the owners for welcoming him. He thanked Fred Wilbur for inviting him to buy a minority stake in the team in 2012.
“Above all, I would like to thank the unwavering support of Mets fans throughout this process,” Cohen said in his statement. “My family and I have been Mets fans all our lives, so we’re very excited about this. Starting with the free agency Sunday night, we will try to close as soon as possible. ”
Tyler Kepner, Dana Rubinstein and David Waltstein reported.