Mets Source Says Einhorn Was Looking To Exploit Mets Financial Situation

An article by posted on September 1, 2011

UPDATE 12:40 pm

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, a source aware of the matter said Einhorn’s portrayal of the situation as the Wilpons continually changing terms is inaccurate.

Instead, the source said, Einhorn figured he had the Wilpons in a bind and looked to exploit it, thinking minor late changes from the current owners to the agreement were a sign of weakness. So Fred Wilpon met with Einhorn on Thursday morning in midtown Manhattan and informed the hedge fund guru that the exclusive negotiating window had expired and they were no longer going to be entertaining him as a minority partner.

Another source told Rubin that the Wilpons will now simply seek to raise that same $200 million by selling shares in the team to family and friends and they have no problem it can be done quickly and with no disruptions to the team.

UPDATE 11:10 am

David Einhorn issued a statement on why the deal broke down:

“I am disappointed to announce that I will not be purchasing an ownership interest in the New York Mets baseball team at this time. It is clear that it will not be possible for me to consummate the transaction on the terms that the Sterling-Mets organization and I originally agreed to several months ago. The extensive nature of changes that were proposed to me at the last minute has made a successful transaction impossible.

“I want to thank the entire Mets organization and Major League Baseball for their efforts. This experience will always be a happy memory for me because of the Mets’ fans. A good number of you have reached out to offer me encouragement. I will always be touched by the warmth that you showed me.”

Original Post 10:30 am

Richard Sandomir, who has been covering the Wilpon/Einhorn proposed partnership for the New York Times, is now reporting that the “Einhorn deal is dead.”

The Mets have just emailed me this statement:

The New York Mets’ Owners announced today that their period of exclusive negotiations with David Einhorn regarding a minority, non-operating interest in the Mets has expired and Ownership has decided not to extend the exclusive negotiating period any further. After months of negotiation, the parties were unable to reach agreement, and Mets Ownership has decided to explore other options.

Ownership has provided additional capital to cover all 2011 losses and is moving forward with the necessary resources to continue to operate the franchise. Ownership will explore other strategic transactions and is under no financial pressure to do a deal on any particular schedule.

“We are very confident in the team’s plans – both off and on the field,” said Mets Chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon. “We will engage with other individuals, some who have been previously vetted by Major League Baseball, along with other interested parties, regarding a potential minority investment into the franchise. My partners and I thank David for his interest in considering this opportunity and wish him well in the future.”

The reported deal called for David Einhorn to pay $200M for one-third of team.

More bad news for the Mets less than 24 hours after Sandy Alderson lamented over not spending this offseason. Somehow, I can’t help but think the two are connected.

Didn’t I tell you that this offseason would be anything, but boring?

More details to come… Keep refreshing this post….

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