Steve Cohen agrees New York Mets takeover

US hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has agreed terms for an acquisition of the remaining stake he does not already own in professional baseball outfit the New York Mets from Sterling Equities.

No specific financial details have been disclosed by the parties involved, but a Newsday report suggested that the transaction is worth a reported USD 2.40 billion and does not include the target’s SNY cable network, which is under contract to broadcast all of the team’s games until 2030.

Cohen already holds an 8.0 per cent share of the club.

Completion requires approval from the other Major League Baseball team owners, with the green light needed from 23 of the 29 teams; voting is expected to take place by November, according to Newsday.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows a deal at the USD 2.40 billion valuation would be the third-largest targeting a professional sports team and club operator to have been announced worldwide on record, and the largest with a US target.

At present, the sector’s biggest US deal is the 2014 acquisition of the LAC Basketball Club, which operates the Los Angeles Clippers, by Steve Ballmer.

News of the agreement brings a battle for control of the business to an end; Cohen had competition from multiple sources after February reports suggested Sterling had put its holding on the block.

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Since then, those to have been named in connection with an approach include Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, Kurt Rappaport and David and Simon Reuben.

Husband and wife duo Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were also in the running for the business, but have since officially dropped out of the race.

Cohen was previously in talks to pick up an 80.0 per cent stake in the Mets for a reported USD 2.08 billion in December 2019.

However, discussions were ultimately terminated after a deal was deemed too difficult to complete back in February.

© Zephus Ltd


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