Former MLB superstar Alex Rodriguez and his fiancée, pop star Jennifer Lopez, are interested in buying the New York Mets and have hired a top investment bank to assist with the bidding process, according to a report Monday.
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The celebrity couple retained JPMorgan Chase to help raise the necessary funds, sports business publication Sportico reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. Current Mets ownership has sought a buyer for the franchise since last December when billionaire Steve Cohen’s bid to buy an 80 percent majority stake at a $2.6 billion valuation collapsed.
JP Morgan Chase declined to comment on the report. A representative for Rodriguez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Mets declined to comment specifically on Rodriguez's interest and referred to a statement from ownership in February.
"We would like to assure our fans that we will continue our commitment to winning in 2020 and beyond and we'll work hard to earn and maintain everyone's confidence and trust," Mets owner Jeff Wilpon said at the time. "We'll be moving forward to find a new transaction. We will not be giving details or updates on the timeline or process until we are prepared to make a public announcement."
Rodriguez and Lopez would likely seek a minority stake in the franchise as part of a larger ownership group. Derek Jeter, Rodriguez’s former teammate with the New York Yankees, paid $25 million for a 4 percent stake in the Miami Marlins as part of a deal that closed in 2017.
Rodriguez’s interest in buying the Mets first surfaced in February. He earned more than $450 million in salary during his MLB career and has built a business empire across the real estate, fitness and art sectors since he retired in 2016.
A prominent actress and singer, Lopez has a personal net worth estimated at $350 million, according to the Post.
Rodriguez confirmed his interest in submitting a bid during an appearance on “The Tonight Show” last month.
“I will say this, if the opportunity [to buy the Mets] came up, I would certainly look at it,” he said.
Fred and Jeff Wilpon are the current owners of the Mets franchise. The Wilpons agreed to sell the team to Cohen as part of a deal that would allow them to retain operational control for a five-year period.
The deal fell apart when Cohen later balked at the terms. The Mets have since reopened the sale process and retained Allen & Co. to lead a potential transaction.