Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Updated: February 23, 7:05 PM ET
Mets have commitments for 7 shares
NEW YORK -- The New York Mets have commitments for seven of the 10 ownership shares of $20 million each they are trying to sell to pay off debt and raise capital.
The sale of the limited partnership units will not take place until all 10 can close at the same time, a person familiar with the negotiations said Wednesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because talks were ongoing.
New York owes $25 million to Major League Baseball, a loan whose repayment was extended from November until March, and $40 million to Bank of America. The team chose to sell limited partnerships following the collapse of a deal last summer with hedge fund manager David Einhorn.
Steve Cohen, bidding to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt, is among those who have committed to become Mets limited partners.
The commitment for seven shares was first reported by Newsday. The Mets hope to be able to complete the sale in the next few weeks.
Mets owners face a trial March 19 on the suit brought by the trustee recovering money for victims of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme. The trustee, Irving Picard, originally sought $1 billion from the Mets' owners, claiming they should have known millions they collected from Madoff represented phony profits. Owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz have denied the claims in lengthy litigation.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed nine of 11 counts on Sept. 27, limiting the exposure of the Mets' ownership to about $386 million. Rakoff also made it possible the Mets' payout won't top more than $83.3 million.