The bidding process for the embattled franchise entered its second round this week, sports business publication Sportico reported. A total of four groups, including one unknown party, advanced passed the preliminary stage, where would-be ownership groups submitted non-binding offers for consideration.
The Mets’ current majority owners, the Wilpon family, have actively sought a buyer for the franchise since last December. Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen reached an initial agreement to buy an 80 percent stake in the Mets at a $2.6 billion valuation. Those talks collapsed after Cohen balked at the Wilpons’ plan to retain operational control of the Mets for a five-year period after the sale was finalized.
Cohen eventually returned to the table and is considered a potential frontrunner among the four bids that advanced to the second round of negotiations.
The Mets hired Allen & Co. to preside over the sale. The candidates were told not to submit separate bids for SportsNet New York, the Mets’ regional cable network, during the second round of talks, according to Sportico.
FOX Business breaks down the top known candidates below:
Cohen, 64, heads up hedge fund Point72 Asset Management and has a personal net worth of $14 billion, according to Forbes. The billionaire informed the Wilpon family that he is willing to pay $2 billion to buy majority control of the Mets and another $2 billion to buy SNY, FOX Business senior correspondent Charlie Gasparino reported.
Josh Harris & David Blitzer
The private equity duo is best known as the founders of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment. The firm’s properties include the NHL’s New Jersey Devils and NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers.
Alex Rodriguez & Jennifer Lopez
Alex Rodriguez, the former MLB slugger and FOX Sports analyst, and global entertainment legend enlisted JPMorgan Chase to put together a group of investors for a Mets bid. Backed by Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola and BodyArmor founder Mike Repole, the Rodriguez-Lopez group submitted a bid in the $2 billion range, according to Gasparino.