J-Lo might soon be the owner of the New York Mets. The team has been rumored to be for sale for a while, and there hasn’t been any shortage of interest. The possibility of Jennifer Lopez and fiancé Alex Rodriguez of MLB fame has also been on the table, and the duo has apparently made it through the latest round of negotiations.
The company managing the sale, Allen & Co., wants to have everything wrapped up before the end of the year.
Finding A New Owner Isn’t Easy
As much as 80% of the Mets has been on the market for a couple of years, and a deal was almost worked out for hedge fund operator Steve Cohen to finalize a purchase last December. He would have been ready to buy the share from the team’s current owners, the families of Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon, as part of a deal worth around $2 billion at the time.
That deal fell through for unspecified reasons, although there are some theories. Perhaps Cohen wasn’t happy with stipulations that were in place requiring certain executives to remain on board, or perhaps it was Cohen’s seedy past that included millions of dollars in fines related to prior creative investment juggling. Either way, he lost the chance to add to his existing 8%, and the search began once again.
J-Lo, Star Turns MLB Owner With Mets?
According to an exclusive article by Sportico, J-Lo and Rodriguez have been approved by MLB as one of seven groups vying for ownership of the Mets. Most of the details are under wraps, since everyone involved has had to sign non-disclosure agreements while negotiations are taking place. Once a deal is finalized, more details will come to light.
A-Rod has been a major part of baseball, having spent 22 years as a player on teams such as the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners. The 14-time All-Star and World Series champ has been actively pursuing an interest in baseball, and joining forces with J-Lo should open up more possibilities, including the Mets. Sportico adds that they have “retained JPMorgan Chase & Co. to raise capital for a bid,” adding, “Among those possibly teaming with the superstar duo are Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola and billionaire Vitaminwater co-founder Mike Repole.”
In addition, there are other deep-pocketed individuals in the running. “Billionaire Josh Harris and Blackstone executive David Blitzer, owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, are also exploring a bid for the money-losing franchise. A report of a $1.4 billion bid by the Harris-led group is inaccurate, the person said, adding that first-round bids will be due sometime in July,” explains Sportico. Also on the list are brothers David and Simon Reuben.
The Countdown Continues
Ideally, a buyer will be named before the end of the year. The coronavirus has had an impact on any negotiations, but the best plan now would be for ownership to be transferred after the World Series and before the start of 2021. That’s because there are a lot of moving parts that will be coming into play, such as contractual negotiations and more, and any incoming business owner will want to be able to take control of the situation.
The Mets have been losing money, and COVID-19 didn’t help anything. The franchise was reportedly losing $50 million each year before the coronavirus hit, and the upcoming truncated season isn’t going to help matters. Finding an owner to bail the team out is becoming more important than ever, and maybe J-Lo and A-Rod are the solution to that problem for the Mets.