Billionaire hedge fund manager Steve Cohen has struck out in his bid to become majority owner of baseball's New York Mets.
The New York Post reported Tuesday night that Cohen is walking away from negotiations with the Wilpon family, which owns the team, after the Wilpons reportedly sought to change the terms of the deal. Cohen, already an investor in the Mets, was seeking to buy 80% of the team.
Cohen is CEO of Point72 Asset Management, and has a net worth of about $13 billion. He is also known for pleading guilty in 2013 to insider trading and agreeing to pay $1.8 billion in fines in one of the biggest criminal cases against a hedge fund.
Cohen bought a share of the Mets in 2012 when the Wilpons were facing financial troubles after losing money in Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme. Cohen paid $20 million for his share at the time, according to The New York Times.
“The parties are subject to confidentiality obligations, including a mutual non-disclosure agreement, and therefore cannot comment," the team said.
I can confirm NY Post story that hedge fund titan Steve Cohen has ended negotiations to buy the NY Mets. Cohen and Wilpons would not confirm directly citing NDA but numerous sources close to the process and Cohen tell me Wilpons tried to retrade deal and he is walking.
— David Faber (@davidfaber) February 4, 2020
What The Problem Is
Under the initial deal, Fred Wilpon would have remained CEO of the team, and his son Jeff would have continued as chief operating officer, five years under Cohen's ownership before Cohen could have changed the top management.
The New York Post's sources said the Wilpons pushed late in the talks to keep some control of the franchise beyond the five-year window. Another issue in the talks that broke down involved the long-term status of the Mets' regional TV sports network, SNY.