The New York Mets ownership have announced that they will sell two shares of the team to family members and four additional shares worth $20 million each to their partner cable network, SNY, according to New York Daily News.
The team announced at the beginning of the month that they were looking to sell 10 minority shares of the team to help quell the team’s recent financial woes.
The team’s financial woes stem mostly from a lawsuit against owner Fred Wilpon from the trustee in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. The trustee has filed a motion asking the Wilpons to repay $83 million in “fictitious profits” that the trustee believes they made from the scheme according to Newsday. The trustee is also seeking another $303 million from the Wilpons for “willful blindness.”
Last spring the Mets had attempted to sell a $200 million stake in the team, but were unable to find an ownership group to purchase a single stake that large in the team. The Mets have firmed up seven shares but are now trying to sell as many as 12.
“We're proceeding with bringing in partners. We have seven partners in terms of groups,” majority owner Fred Wilpon said. “We have seven whose money is in escrow because they've been through Major League Baseball. We have two that are ready to almost finalize in Major League Baseball, and a couple of others that are in the process. It's a real process. If you have three, four people in your group, everybody is vetted. They're all in there. And we hope to be able to close that out shortly." Wilpon has been involved with the Mets organization since 1980. Wilpon served as president of the team between 1980 to 2002, as Chief Executive Officer since 1980 and as Chairman of the Board since 2003. He currently serves as Chairman of Sterling Equities.