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Monday, March 19, 2012
Wilpons raise $240M, settle debts

By Adam Rubin

Fresh off a favorable settlement in the lawsuit trying to recover profits from Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme, the owners of the New York Mets had a pair of other positive developments become public Monday.

A team official confirmed the organization has completed the sale of 12 minority ownership shares of the team at $20 million apiece, infusing $240 million into the organization.

Those funds immediately went, in part, toward settling a pair of debts. Principal owner Fred Wilpon and family have repaid a $40 million bridge loan to Bank of America as well as a $25 million emergency loan from Major League Baseball.

The Wilpons have large debts still remaining against the team, but the cash infusion should help the family withstand any operating losses in the near term without jeopardizing their ownership.

General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets lost $70 million in 2011.