Mets Trying to Sell Smaller Stake in Team

NEW YORK - AUGUST 06:  New York Mets Chief Exe...

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According to the NY Post, the Mets owners had a conference call with the group of banks that have approximately $500 million outstanding in loans to the team. Fred Wilpon and banker Steve Greenberg expressed confidence that they would be able to sell several “smaller” shares of the team by the end of 2011 after David Einhorn pulled out of deal to invest $200 million last week. [The picture at the right is Wilpon and Einhorn in happier days].

A couple of months ago, JP Morgan sent a tersely worded letter to Wilpon stating that some covenants of the loan had been breached by Wilpon. The letter didn’t say Wilpon was in default. But you know where this was headed.

During the call, Greenberg also told the lenders that their potential exposure to the Madoff lawsuit had been reduced recently. And it came out that Wilpon and Saul Katz had kicked in some amount under $50 million of their own money to keep the team running.

It sounds like the tone of the call was that everything was great as far as the Mets owners are concerned. They’re still going to take on minority investors by the end of the year, the Madoff lawsuit isn’t as bad as it could have been, and the lenders should be assured that there aren’t any immediate financial problems. We’ll see if that turns out to be the case.

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